Titan Europe, parent company of Titan Wheels in Kidderminster, is looking for new investments or acquisitions to follow its purchase of Titan Andys in Australia last year.

Mike Akers, chief executive, announced the ambition yesterday when he reported a buoyant start to 2005 from the maker of wheels for farm and construction vehicles.

First-quarter profits were 93 per cent up on the same months last year at £3.528 million. The AIMlisted shares went five pence higher to 180p.

That included a £181,000 operating profit on sales of £1.6 million from Titan Andys in Australia acquired last September and £426,000 from the 35 per cent owned associate Wheels India.

The group's sales were 27 per cent higher at £34.1 million, boosted by last year's sharp rise in the cost of steel.

Titan is reporting quarterly results because they are included in those of its American former parent, which still has a 29.3 per cent stake.

"The board is considering a number of possible new investments with a view to expanding our operations both geographically and in product range," Mr Akers said.

"The outlook for the remainder of the year is encouraging. Titan Europe's main challenge continues to be rising input costs, in particular steel, where we anticipate moderate increases in 2005. We will work closely with our customers to manage this."