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RTI International’s fourth-quarter profit soars

Keywords: Tags  RTI International, earnings report, titanium, Remmele Engineering, Dawne Hickton, Frank Haflich

LOS ANGELES — RTI International Metals Inc. saw its earnings rise sharply in the fourth quarter, with lower scrap input costs, accelerated shipments to the energy market and the addition of the company’s largest-ever acquisition offsetting lower titanium shipments.

The Pittsburgh-based titanium producer, fabricator and distributor expects some "softness" in the first half of 2013, but it anticipates a pickup later in the year, vice chairwoman, president and chief executive officer Dawne S. Hickton said.

RTI’s fourth-quarter net income jumped to more than $7.1 million from just $15,000 in the same period a year earlier on a 38.4-percent increase in sales to nearly $196.41 million. Full-year net income more than tripled to $23.52 million from $6.55 million in 2011 on sales that increased 39.4 percent to $738.61 million.

RTI’s titanium mill product shipments in the fourth quarter declined to 3.7 million pounds from 4 million pounds a year earlier, but full-year shipments rose to 16.5 million pounds from 14.7 million pounds in 2011. Realized titanium prices averaged $19.13 per pound in the fourth quarter, down marginally from $19.11 in the same period a year earlier, and average prices for the full year slipped 2 percent to $19.14 per pound from $19.54 in 2011.

RTI’s backlog totaled $554 million at the end of 2012, a 16-percent year-on-year increase.

In addition to lower scrap input costs, RTI benefited from shipments of components—initially due to be shipped in this year’s first quarter—for subsea drilling applications, primarily in the Gulf of Mexico. RTI said that its sales of these components tripled year on year in 2012.

Higher fourth-quarter earnings also reflected the addition of Remmele Engineering Inc., New Brighton, Minn., for which RTI paid $182 million (, Feb. 15, 2012). Remmele is now RTI Remmele Engineering and RTI Remmele Medical, the latter a manufacturer of medical devices.

Shipments of track ship sets for the Boeing 787 Dreamliner are expected to grow to at least 75 this year from 44 in 2012, Hickton said.

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