Despite record third-quarter and nine-month sales, Titan International Inc. reported a loss for the three-month period and a decline in earnings the three quarters.
The farm tire and wheel manufacturer said it had a net loss of $878,000 in the quarter, compared to net profits of $488,000 last year. Sales rose 25 percent in the period to $195.5 million.
For the nine months, Titan said net income fell to $1.6 million from $14.7 million in the same time span a year earlier, as sales climbed 23 percent
to $632.1 million. The company expects to set a record for revenues for the year, surpassing the previous high of $690 million set in 1997.
Maurice Taylor Jr., Titan chairman and CEO, said third quarter sales were "great," and that with previously announced price increases in place, the company expected operating profit markings to improve going forward.
The agricultural market for wheels and tires is starting to show the growth that Titan has been waiting for since 2006, Taylor said. "The orders for wheels and tires are as strong as we've seen since 2004, and we believe it could continue to grow not only through 2008, but also into
2009 and beyond," he said.
The off-the-road mining tire business also remains strong, Taylor said.
Since the company announced its decision to build giant 57- and 63-inch tires, almost every mining company in the top 30 has made plant visits to Titan and found that the firm will be able to supply them with both tires and wheels for equipment they use in open-pit or underground mining, he said.
Titan will finish OTR conversion at its Freeport, Ill., farm tire plant during the fourth quarter and has begun an expansion at its Bryan, Ohio, OTR plant to add about 250,000 square feet.