The second quarter of 2014 was, in the words of Titan International’s chief financial officer, “disappointing in terms of performance.” John Hrudicka reports that the 11.7 per cent year-on-year decline in sales to US$523.7 million occurred against a backdrop of price reductions, a downturn in the mining segment and a decline in agricultural markets. Gross profit also decreased 74.0 per cent to $22.6 million and was 4.3 per cent of net sales, as compared to 14.6 per cent of net sales a year earlier. Loss from operations amounted to $29.5 million in the second quarter of 2014, compared with a profit from operations of $36.9 million in the second quarter of 2013. Net income went $20.5 million into the red. Dividend declared per common share was $0.05.
Arguments about greater steering precision aside, the chief reason for fitting low profile tyres to a car is to enhance its appearance. But a narrow sidewall is favoured by some in the off-road sector for entirely difference reasons. Titan International developed its first low profile – it calls it low sidewall, or LSW – off-road tyre in the 1990s and initially introduced the technology on the Caterpillar-brand skid steer tyre in 1999. The company believes that when the benefits of LSW are more widely known the technology will gain widespread acceptance, and to spread word about LSW a new, dedicated website has been rolled out.
Titan has expanded its OTR product range with new Low Sidewall (LSW) options for light, medium and heavy-duty equipment. These tyres, with their larger rim diameter and smaller sidewall than standard tyres, offer improved equipment stability and performance.