QUINCY, Ill. (Feb. 26, 2009)—Thriving demand for large farm tires and wheels helped propel Titan International Inc. back into the black last year along with record sales for the fourth quarter and fiscal year.
The Quincy-based tire maker reported net income of $13.3 million for 2008 vs. a net loss of $7.3 million in 2007, on a 23.9 percent surge in annual net sales to $1.04 billion.
However a 26.2-percent jump in fourth quarter sales to a record $258.6 million couldn't offset a net loss of $18.4 million, compared with an $8.85 million loss in the year-ago period.
“Titan was on its way to having its best quarter of all time,” said Titan Chairman and CEO Maurice Taylor Jr. “However, the curing press malfunction in November, caused by an issue related to clamping pressure, set Titan back about 90 days behind the goals set last year. I set a goal to produce 900 super giant tires in 2008, and we fell short, producing approximately half of that number.”
Titan's reported $80 million in capital expenditures for 2008, including about $60 million for its production of 57- and 63-inch giant radial OTR tires.
Last year Titan's ag tire and wheel sales surged 41.6 percent and earthmover/construction sales edged up 1.4 percent over 2007. Titan said it believes its sales benefited from a preliminary U.S. Department of Commerce ruling affirming that exporters of Chinese-manufactured tires were receiving subsidies and selling certain OTR tires in the U.S. below normal value, resulting in duties being imposed on certain imported tires.
Looking ahead, Titan expects upbeat conditions in the large farm and mining tire segments this year. However, Taylor said sales levels should move down because of lower material costs, which will likely cause selling prices to drop.