Titan International Inc. on Friday reported results for the third quarter ending Sept. 30.

The global tire manufacturer reported net sales for the quarter were $384.7 million, an increase of 3.7% compared to net sales of $371 million for the same time period in 2017. Net sales increased nearly 10% on a constant currency basis.

Net sales for the first 9 months of the year were $1.24 billion, a 13.4% increase vs. net sales of $1.09 billion for the first 9 months of the previous year.

Paul Reitz, Titan president and chief executive officer, notes the third quarter marks the seventh consecutive quarter of sales gains year-over-year. The company’s earthmoving/construction segment, in particular the ITM undercarriage business has in particular been performing “exceptionally,” he adds, with year-to-date sales for the segment up more than 28%. That growth translates well into meaningful margin and EBITDA improvement for Titan.

Segment Results

Agriculture. Sales in Titan’s ag segment for the third quarter were roughly $163.4 million, a 4.4% decline from the nearly $170.9 million the year prior. However, sales for the first 9 months of 2018 were $544.4 million, an increase of 3.8% over the $524.3 million recorded the same time period last year.

Earthmoving. As Reitz points out, net sales for the company’s earthmoving/construction segment were particularly strong. Third quarter sales for the segment came in at $180.4 million, a 15.3% year-over-year improvement, while sales for the 9-month period improved from $443 million last year to $568.1 million in 2018 — a 28.2% increase.

Consumer. Titan’s consumer segment saw the weakest results in terms of sales. For the third quarter, net sales were just under $41 million, a decrease of 6.1% from the $43.7 million reported in the third quarter of 2017. Sales grew modestly for the first 9 months of 2018, coming in at $126.5 million — a 0.8% improvement from the $125.5 million recorded the prior year.

Future Optimism

Reitz says he expects strong performances in the future, given the upward trend of ag machinery sales. He notes that equipment dealers and manufacturers are feeling good about their prospects in 2019, with signs of optimism coming from early orders and aging equipment fleets.

"In North America, sales of large to mid-sized ag machinery have seen a mild upturn over the past year, and small equipment sales have maintained a strong, upward trend,” says Reitz. “Recent surveys indicate that most dealers expect more of the same in 2019. Generally speaking, dealers are optimistic about prospects for improving both new and used equipment revenues moving into next year. This is consistent with what we are hearing from many of our customers. Additionally, ag equipment indicators for both OEMs and dealers remain positive, including improved early order levels over last year, equipment inventories at good levels, and the increasing age of the fleet for higher horsepower equipment. Larger equipment sales levels remain below longer-term, historical averages which, along with an aging fleet, indicates the potential for upside at some point.”