QUINCY, Ill. (Feb. 25)—Tire and wheel maker Titan International Inc. posted net earnings of $11.1 million in 2004, its first profitable fiscal year since 2000, and net sales rose 3.8 percent to $510.6 million for the year, the company announced Feb. 25.
The earnings marked a huge improvement from 2003, when the company lost $36.7 million.
Using pro forma figures accounting for the revenues of Titan Europe, which Titan publicly spun off in April, annual net sales increased to $461.1 million from $348 million the year before.
The Quincy-based firm also reported fourth-quarter sales of $105.9 million, down 12.1 percent from the like period in 2003. Using the pro forma 2003 figure of $81.5 million, sales jumped 30 percent in the fourth quarter.
Titan did post a $1.29 million net loss in the final three months of the year, primarily because of a $5.3 million depreciation charge for assets marketed for sale at four idled production sites, including equipment at tire plants in Natchez, Miss., and Brownsville, Texas. Titan also paid out about $3 million in bonuses near the end of the quarter, according to Maurice Taylor Jr., the company's president and CEO.
Despite the net loss, Taylor called the final quarter of 2004 "remarkable" and praised the Titan team for their efforts. "The operating results for the year show Titan´s employees worked hard to return the company to profitability when presented with increased demand in the agricultural and construction markets," he said.
"Although it´s been a bumpy ride, we will not forget to maintain focus on reducing costs and further enhancing efficiencies. Many of our customers are predicting another strong year in 2005."