WEATHERSFIELD Parent of RTI doubles its earnings

The company's titanium operations are feeling the pinch from declining aerospace markets.
WEATHERSFIELD -- The parent company of RTI Titanium Co. earned twice as much last year as it did the previous year.
RTI International Metals, which is based in Weathersfield Township along with its titanium-producing subsidiary, said Monday that it earned $12.1 million, or 58 cents a share, on sales of $285.9 million last year. For 2000, it earned $6.7 million, or 32 cents a share, on sales of $249.4 million.
Stock received: Much of the increased earnings came from stock received at the end of the year from Anthem Insurance Companies, which switched from a mutual insurance company to one owned by stockholders. The company distributed a total of $4.4 billion in cash and stock to about 1 million policyholders.
RTI sold its stock, with the proceeds contributed to its pension plans. After-tax income of $3.2 million, or 15 cents a share, was included in the company's fourth-quarter results.
Earnings for that quarter were $5.3 million, or 26 cents a share, on sales of $68.7 million, compared with a net loss of $87,000 on sales of $53.8 million in the same quarter a year earlier. The per-share results for that quarter were essentially break-even.
Titanium mill product shipments in the last quarter were 2.8 million pounds, a 15 percent reduction from the third quarter.
Operating income: Higher sale prices and continuing cost containment efforts allowed the titanium group to earn operating income of $2.7 million on sales of $33.8 million in the fourth quarter.
However, the effects of the September terrorist attacks on commercial aerospace, the group's largest market, began to be felt in the fourth quarter, RTI said. Customers in these markets are placing fewer new orders and delaying deliveries on existing orders, it said.
The company expects this trend will continue, further reducing titanium shipments and titanium group earnings.
RMI Titanium, which employs about 500 in Weathersfield, produces titanium, which is used in a variety of products, including airplanes, oil rigs and golf clubs.
Led by a strong fourth-quarter performance by RTI Energy Systems, the fabrication and distribution group earned $1.1 million from operations on sales of $34.9 million.
Sales reduction: Several of the businesses in this group also experienced reduced sales during the quarter because of weakening aerospace markets and will likely see lower earnings in 2002, RTI said.
However, other units, less reliant on commercial aerospace, are expected to improve earnings this year. In total, profits for the fabrication and distribution group are expected to be up in 2002, RTI said.

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