QUINCY, Ill.—Titan International Inc.'s board of directors is expressing its confidence in Titan management's ability to return the company to the black in 2018, saying the firm is "well positioned to continue on a positive trend" heading into next year.
The board's support follows improvements in the firm's operations the past few quarters, even though the company was in the red in the quarter and nine months ended Sept. 30.
According to President and CEO Paul Reitz—who was appointed to the company's board at the recent board meeting—Titan projects improvements of 25 to 40 percent in gross profits and 50 to 100 percent in the EBITDA pre-tax operating income.
"After working hard to manage our way through three years of a cyclical downturn and then post three consecutive quarters of revenue growth this year, it was great to be able to present to our board a 2018 plan that continues to reflect growth across all of our business units."
Titan also is projecting 2018 revenue growth of 7 to 12 percent over 2017, Reitz said, building on double-digit sales gains in the third quarter and nine months of 2017.
The company reported losses from operations for the third quarter and nine months of $5.14 million and $8.24 million, improvements of 18.5 and 46 percent, respectively, vs. the 2016 periods. Third quarter and nine-month sales jumped 21.2 and 14.1 percent to $371 million and $1.09 billion respectively.
Other key elements of the 2018 plan include:
- reducing the selling, general and administrative/R&D costs to 10 to 10.5 percent of sales while closely monitoring cash management and working capital.
- keeping capital spending to $35 million to $45 million, or less than depreciation.
Reitz's appointment brings the number of directors to eight in accordance with the company's by-laws, Titan said. Reitz's term expires at Titan's 2018 annual shareholders' meeting.
Titan Chairman Maurice Taylor lauded Reitz's "leadership and vision," and said, "These strengths along with his background and knowledge of our business will make him an excellent board member."
Reitz, 45, was hired by Titan in 2010 as chief financial officer. He was promoted to president in February 2014 and to CEO in January 2017.