QUINCY, Ill. — Titan International Inc. reported operating and net losses for the quarter ended March 31, but the losses were measurably less than in the comparable 2016 quarter.
The loss from operations was $7.1 million, an improvement of 38.3 percent from the first quarter 2016 loss, despite headwinds such as higher raw materials costs and legal costs associated with the firm's efforts to lobby for import duties on OTR tires from China, India and Sri Lanka.
The net loss was $10.5 million, or a 41-percent improvement from the 2016 period.
Sales revenue improved 11.1 percent to $357.5 million on 4-percent higher sales volumes, Titan said, especially in the agriculture and consumer segments. Sales volumes fell in the earthmoving/construction sector.
Titan President and CEO Paul Reitz said Titan is encouraged by these early signs of growth and cautiously optimistic about the future quarters of this fiscal year."
Mr. Reitz noted that Titan experienced increases in both natural and synthetic rubber prices of more than 40 percent during the quarter, which resulted in an impact on gross profit of about $9 million. Raw materials prices are now starting to stabilize at lower levels, he added.
Titan manages swings in raw materials costs by following a "disciplined approach to our raw material supply chain that includes the use of forward contracts, volume commitments and spot buys," he said.