Quincy, Illinois -- Titan International Inc. has embarked on a series of staff and cost reductions in response to a decline in its business performance over the three months to 30 Sept.
The company posted third-quarter losses from operations of $2.5 million on sales of $449.6 million – 9.6-percent lower than in the same period last year when it achieved an income of $17.1 million.
The cutbacks include a planned reduction of employee numbers In Russia from 2,300 to 1,000 this year in line with current demand, the supplier of wheels, tires and other products for off-the-road equipment said 28 Oct.
Maurice Taylor, CEO and chairman linked the problem to falling demand for large agriculture equipment sales and larger products used in the mining industry. Meanwhile, he said, reductions in prices for raw material such as natural rubber and steel, were passed to customers.
The company also faced additional expenses of $4 million at its recently acquired facility in Russia, while a strong US dollar contributed to a $13.3 million loss in foreign currency effects.
Titan now expects declining sales of large agriculture equipment at least through 2015 in North America. This trend will be partly mitigated by relatively stable demand in South America, where the company has expanded its product offering in Brazil to cover more large agriculture and medium size construction.
Taylor forecast the European market to remain stable but challenging, while demand in Russia should slowly improve in the quarters ahead.
“We are updating moulds and equipment into the Russia tire facility to improve performance and efficiency, the Titan boss commented.
"We are taking steps to improve the business despite these challenging markets, he added. “We continue with our strategy to realign the Bryan, Ohio facility to current market conditions and improve profitability in the earthmoving/construction segment.”