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Titan records 1Q net income of $5.3 million

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Titan International Inc. reports net income of $5.3 million on net sales of $167 million for the first quarter ended March 31, 2004. That compares to a net loss of $5.9 million on sales of $129 million for the first quarter a year ago.

Titan's income from operations was $11.8 million, its highest total since the second quarter of 1998. The company took a $3 million goodwill impairment charge against income from operations as a result of selling 70% of its interest in Titan Europe earlier this month.

(In the future, Titan Europe's operating results no longer will be consolidated with those of Titan International. Titan's remaining 30% investment in Titan Europe will be recorded as an equity investment.)

Titan cites three reasons for its improved financial condition:

1. Manufacturing efficiencies were realized from facility consolidations in 2003.

2. There was strong demand for tires and wheels in the agricultural and light construction markets.

3. The weak dollar in the United States resulted in strong exchange rate gains vs. the pound, euro and yen.

Titan CEO and President Morry Taylor says Titan experienced increasing customer demand in the first quarter. "We expect demand to continue near this level through the second quarter, followed by third and fourth quarter sales much stronger than is seasonably customary in the agricultural, construction and consumer markets."

Titan's stock was selling for $6.74 a share at the close of the New York Stock Exchange on April 28. That compares to a 52-week high and low of $6.93 and 62 cents, respectively.

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