QUINCY, Ill. (March 15, 2017) — Titan International Inc. reported operating and net losses for the fourth quarter and fiscal year ended Dec. 31, but management is confident the company's financial ills have bottomed out based on signs of recovery in the fourth quarter and the first few months of 2017.
Titan's fiscal 2016 loss from operations was $21.3 million, or 1.7 percent of net sales, compared with a loss of $24.3 million in fiscal 2015. The net loss was more than halved to $36.1 million.
Sales were off 9.3 percent to $1.27 billion, although the company noted fourth quarter sales of $307.3 million were essentially unchanged from the 2015 fourth quarter.
Titan President and CEO Paul Reitz said Titan management continues "to be encouraged by the operating progress we have made" despite the decline of the firm's sales to $1.27 billion last year from the peak of $2.2 billion in 2013.
Mr. Reitz noted that Titan's gross profit increased nearly $15 million in the fourth quarter, improving the gross margin by almost 83 percent to 10.6 percent.
Titan Chairman Maurice Taylor Jr. based his optimism for a recovery on Titan's belief that demand for its LSW (low-sidewall) tires and wheels is growing in the agricultural sector and will accelerate throughout 2017.
"I believe in 2017, Titan will accelerate the positive growth for LSW tires and wheels now that farmers are more aware of the increase in their yield per acre as a result of less soil compaction from LSW tires," Mr. Taylor said.