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Restructuring behind it, Titan looks forward to 2005

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Titan International Inc. CEO and President Morry Taylor says Titan will turn more than $500 million in sales next year.

The company´s Titan Europe plc division is expected to achieve close to $170 million in sales, he adds. The low value or the dollar vs. the euro will contribute to that figure, Taylor has told moderntiredealer.com.

It´s been a year of financial restructuring for the Quincy, Ill.-based specialty tire manufacturer.

In April, Titan began Titan Europe shares on the London AIM stock exchange. (TItan retained 30% stake in the unit.) Later that month, Titan bought 4.9 million shares of its common stock from Citicorp Venture Capital Ltd., its largest shareholder at the time.

Titan moved ahead in July by selling $100 million worth of convertible senior notes. Then -- fresh from securing a new $100 million revolving credit agreement from LaSalle Bank National Association and General Electric Capital Corp. -- Titan announced it was redeeming all of its outstanding 8.75% senior subordinated notes, due in 2007. The notes were redeemed at the end of August, to the tune of $136.8 million.

Titan posted net income of $1.48 million during the third quarter vs. a net loss of $13.4 million for the same period in 2003. Titan´s net sales for 3Q 2004 rose 47% to $116.5 million, while its third quarter income from operations totaled $9.9 million.

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