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Manitex’s 2012 report glows; normal replacement cycle may develop

Wednesday, 13 Mar 2013 ( #607 ) - Bridgeview, IL, United States
News Story
Lifting solutions provider Manitex International Inc reports profit improvement of 191% to USD8.1 million on a 2012 sales increase of 44% to USD205.2 million.

"We’ve established a 2015 sales target of USD350 million excluding any acquisitions," says David Langevin, chairman and chief executive officer.

In the latest annual cycle, higher capacity and specialised boom trucks drove almost 70% of the Manitex year-over-year revenue increase, with Badger specialised trailers and other materials handling equipment contributing strongly.

Manitex says the general economic environment in its North American and European markets reflects limited or no growth, but the company’s products for "the energy and power line distribution sectors benefited from the higher levels of activity in these sectors as well as from increased market penetration".

Langevin reports the relative flatness in the commercial sector in recent years may be changing. "It looks like a normal replacement cycle will kick in," he says. "We have not felt the thrust of replacement business", which he believes should grow throughout 2013.

"We think we are in the early stages of the commercial restoration of our markets," he notes. "We have not had an upside since 2006" on the commercial side of the Manitex International business.

"Liftking is one of the companies where we foresee expansion of sales and some improvement in operations (for 2013)," Langevin says.

The Manitex Liftking UTC subsidiary of Woodbridge, Ontario, Canada provides materials handling equipment, including the Noble straight-mast rough-terrain forklift product line, Lowry high-capacity cushion-tyred forklifts, Schaeff electric indoor forklifts and specialised carriers, heavy materials handling transporters and steel mill equipment. Manitex Liftking’s rough-terrain forklifts are used in both commercial and military applications.

Manitex says that a significant degree of uncertainty in North America is influencing buying decisions. North American general construction and housing sectors are "steady but still relatively subdued", the company says. "Energy (is) still active (with a) positive outlook".

As of 31 December, Bridgeview-based publicly traded Manitex had an order backlog of USD130.4 million, a 55.7% increase on the 2011 year-end backlog of USD83.7 million.

"Some new technology is coming into play" as Manitex engineers develop new materials handling products", Langevin says. Looking at the marketplace, he hopes to "replace higher cost equipment as we have in the past".
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