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Titan reports second quarter sales drops but says rest of year will be better

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Titan International Inc. has announced net sales of $120.3 million for the second quarter of 2001, a $25.3 million drop from the same period last year.

"During the second quarter, the company reduced its long-term debt by more than $30 million and ended the quarter with a cash balance of more than $20 million despite difficult economic conditions," says Titan President and CEO Morry Taylor.

Taylor says Titan's business might improve during the third quarter but it will definitely pick up during the fourth quarter due to new contracts the company will announce over the next 30 days and "another major original equipment announcement that will come at the end of the third quarter -- probably the largest (contract) we've ever had."

Titan also is picking up new business in Europe and Mexico, according to Taylor.

And its big tire manufacuturing contract with Caterpillar "is moving forward but slower than I'd like to see it. But once it starts moving it won't stop."

Productivity at Titan plants has increased, Taylor says, despite the firm's decisions to "mothball" its Natchez, Miss., facility and cut schedules down to four-day weeks in order to reduce inventories earlier this year. "For the first time in almost three years we have the capacity to produce tires. Now we're in the mode of increasing our market share."

Fill rates of more than 95% also should make 2002 "a blow out" for the company.

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