QUINCY, Ill.—Based on higher-than-expected demand for its products, Titan International Inc. has issued an upbeat forecast for its financial performance in the quarter ending March 31.
"The primary end markets we serve, especially agriculture, continue to evolve in a positive direction," President and CEO Paul Reitz said. "Therefore, we understand it is important to our stakeholders for us to provide further commentary on our current near-term outlook."
To that end, Titan expects to report first quarter pre-tax operating income (EBITDA) of $23 million to $25 million, excluding currency impacts, and sales of approximately $395 million to $405 million, which represents gains of 16 percent to 19 percent from the 2020 first quarter.
"We finished late-2020 with a strong surge in demand," Reitz said, "and that momentum has continued to gain further traction to start 2021. This year is clearly on a better path and the actions that we took during 2020 through the pandemic will serve us well in this year of growth."
Reitz went on to characterize the global economic scene as "volatile" and "increasingly uncertain," but said Titan continues to "manage challenges" throughout its global business.
"We are aggressively hiring and training to extend capacity to deliver product to meet current strong demand," he added, "while our ability to continue to hire throughout the remainder of 2021 is a key factor in forecasting our sales levels."
Reitz also said Titan "remains confident in our ability to increase prices" in a timely manner to offset rising raw materials and certain production costs.
"As such, our current expectations will be dynamic and we fully expect to provide additional guidance throughout the year as we gain clarity."
In fiscal 2020, Titan generated 41.6 percent higher operating income $54 million on 12.1 percent lower sales of $1.26 billion. The net result was a loss of $60.4 million.
Sales fell in all segments, Titan said, reflecting the challenges in the earthmoving/construction market as a result of a slowdown of the global construction market, particularly in Europe.
However, the "positive trends" that Titan experienced in late 2020 increased during the first few months of 2021, the company said earlier, leading to the promise of a "noticeable" improvement in operating income this year.