QUINCY, Ill. (April 29, 2004) — Off-highway tire and wheel maker Titan International Inc. reported its best quarterly operating performance since 1998 in the first quarter of 2004 as demand picked up and the company's cost containment measures took hold.
A net profit of $5.3 million in the quarter contrasts with a net loss of $5.9 million posted a year ago. The firm's operating income was $11.8 million— vs. a $1.7 million loss last year—and the most reported by Titan since the second quarter of 1998.
Sales in the quarter of $167 million were 29.4-percent ahead of the same period in 2003. Beginning in the second quarter, the operating results of Titan Europe P.L.C. won't be consolidated with those of Titan International. The former Titan subsidiary was admitted to trading as a separate public company on London's AIM market on April 7.
Manufacturing efficiencies resulting from facility consolidations in 2003, the strengthening of the agricultural and light construction markets and the weak U.S. dollar compared with currencies in the United Kingdom, Europe and Japan contributed to the improved financial performance, Titan said.
“We expect demand to continue near this level through the second quarter, followed by third and fourth quarter sales much stronger than is seasonally customary in the agricultural, construction and consumer markets,” said Maurice Taylor Jr., Titan CEO and president.
“The efficiencies implemented by Titan during the past few years have better positioned the company to maximize returns from operations in the future.”
Titan hasn't reported an annual profit since 2000, when it posted net earnings of $4.5 million.