QUINCY, Ill.—Titan International Inc. reported a 52.6 percent improvement in its second quarter earnings from operations on 10.4 percent higher sales, but the company was in the red on an operating and net basis for the six months ended June 30.
The sales improvement—the company's second consecutive quarter of significant growth after a four-year period of protracted downturn—prompted the firm's President and CEO Paul Reitz to profess optimism heading into 2018.
"As we've worked our way through the downturn over the past few years," Reitz said, "the Titan team has consistently deployed a balanced, disciplined approach focused on the needed short-term actions to balance costs with net sales, while also looking to the future with our investment decisions. We see future opportunities to utilize our tire manufacturing and technical expertise to expand into other related products that don't require significant, additional investment."
In separate comments, Reitz noted that Titan's agricultural business improved by 18 percent in the second quarter and that management is tracking improving market conditions in the aftermarket mining and construction business as well.
These gains "fit well with our strategy that was launched almost two years ago to position ourselves to capture more of this business," he added.
For the quarter ended June 30, Titan reported income from operations of $3.96 million on sales of $364.4 million. The net result, however, was a $6.54 million loss.
For the half year, Titan reported a loss from operations of $3.1 million on sales of $721.9 million, a 10.7-percent improvement over 2016. The half-year net loss was $17.2 million, a 6-percent improvement vs. 2016.
Among the positives Titan cited for the first half were:
• A new five-year contract with workers at its three U.S. tire plants that provides Titan with "more economic flexibility";
• An OE fitment contract with tractor maker New Holland for Titan's LSW (low-sidewall) technology farm tires; and
• New supply contracts in the forestry industry for its ITM undercarriage business.
Titan did not issue sales or earnings forecasts for the remainder of fiscal 2017.