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Titan's sales, income drop in the first quarter

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Titan International Inc. posted net sales of $196.4 million on net income of $2.1 million for the first quarter vs. net sales of $232.6 million on net income of $7 million during the same period in 2009.

Titan's first quarter income from operations was $10.1 million vs. $14.1 million during the first period of 2009.

Company officials attribute the sales decline to reduced demand for its farm tires.

Morry Taylor, Titan's chairman, CEO and president, says market conditions will improve as the year progresses. "The first quarter started slow, but has improved each month."

Mid-size and small farm tire demand "is still slow and we do not see any growth in that segment until 2012. Our construction business is up slightly because it had nowhere to go but up, thought it is still off nearly 50% from 2007 highs."

However, "the future looks bright in mining, both underground and above ground." Titan has expanded its product range to include 49- and 51-inch mining tires for haul trucks, and will launch its first large radial loader tires this September.

"It's the mining tire business that will determine whether Titan has a good year or a great one. The reason I say that is because by the end of the second quarter, we will have results in from various mines on a whole range of performance data, and if we are as successful as we expect, then things will get better in the segment as each quarter rolls around."


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