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Titan turns yearly loss into small profit

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Titan International Inc. recorded net income of $400,000 on net sales of $881.6 million for its fiscal year ended Dec. 31, 2010. That compares to a net loss of $24.6 million on sales of $727.6 million in 2009.

Operating income totaled $40.8 million in 2010, compared to a loss of $18.9 million the previous year.

In the fourth quarter of 2010, Titan posted a net loss of $10.3 million on net sales of $232.7 million. That compares to a loss of $26.5 million on sales of $146.5 million in 4Q 2009.

"The fourth quarter was better than we thought it was going to be," says Chairman and CEO Morry Taylor. Here's why he is optimistic going forward.

1. Farming. "Farm demand is going strong, and we believe it will go for a few more years," says Taylor.

2. OTR tires. "The mining business is coming up fast, and we believe it has room to run, and Titan has shown a lot of customers that our design of nylon cords over steel is a way to make better and safer OTR tires."

3. Goodyear farm tires. "We signed our agreement with Goodyear for their farm tire business in South America, Europe, Africa and Eastern Europe, including Russia and Ukraine," he says. "We believe Titan can grow the revenue of these businesses to between $400 million and $600 million per year in the next three years."

(See "Titan to buy Goodyear's European, Latin American farm units.)

Taylor says he told senior management that his goal when aquiring Goodyear's farm tire businesses overseas would be to reach $950 million to $1.1 billion in sales. He now says that estimate is too low.

"So, in April or (the) first of May, I will make public the new, higher goals."

4. United Steelworkers (USW). Last December, Titan gave the USW at all three of its domestic plants its "last and best final offer." Workers at the Des Moines, Iowa, facility approved the offer. Workers at the Bryan, Ohio, and Freeport, Ill., plants did not.

"All three plants are working under Titan's last and best offer," says Taylor. "We'll bring over 100 workers back to these facilities and might hire an additional 100 new workers. I believe with the correct management of these facilities, Titan will be on the road to proper profit."

For more information on Titan's fiscal 2010 results, and what else Taylor has to say, visit www.titan-intl.com.

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