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Manitou posts double-digit growth, appoints new interim CEO

Wednesday, 27 Mar 2013 ( #609 ) - Ancenis, France
News Story
Manitou has posted a 12% growth in 2012 revenue to EUR1.265 billion (USD1.627 billion) and forecasts stable revenue for 2013.

The company had a net income of EUR46 million (USD59 million), compared to EUR36 million (USD46 million) in 2011, and an operating profit of EUR46 million (USD59 million), which is 3.7% lower than the EUR53 million (USD68 million) achieved the previous year.

The French materials handling equipment maker conducts business under the Manitou, Gehl, Mustang, Loc and Edge brands through 1,400 independent dealers in over 120 countries. As of 31 December 2012, Manitou employed about 3,300 people, 40% of whom were outside France.

Former president and CEO Jean-Christophe Giroux, who stepped down on 6 March, says the 2012 earnings "provide a contrasted picture in many respects". "Both the compact equipment (CE) and industrial materials handling (IMH) divisions are delivering a great performance, from top to bottom, and confirm they’re now on a new trajectory.

"On the other hand, rough terrain-handling (RTH) division’s overall disappointing numbers have been affected by depressed margins and several negative one-offs."

The RTH division generated EUR857 million (USD1.102 billion) of revenue in 2012, an 8% growth over 2011’s EUR796 million (USD1.023 billion). All regions delivered growth with the exception of Southern Europe.

The IMH division posted revenue of EUR163 million (USD209.6 million), 11% higher than in 2011. With the Toyota distribution in France being discontinued at the end of 2012, and with a new engine counterbalance range being launched outside France, Manitou says the division has entered into a new phase from a strategic and commercial perspective.

With revenue of EUR245 million (USD315 million) compared to EUR188 million (USD242 million) last year, the CE division posted a 30% rebound, mainly driven by rental customers and sustained agriculture renewal business.

The board of directors has announced that two new members will be proposed to the shareholders’ vote on 6 June, together with the re-election of all other current members: Marcel-Claude Braud will replace Serge Ghysdael and a new female board member will replace Dominique Bamas.

Braud will continue as non-executive chairman and Jacqueline Himsworth as vice chairwoman.

The board has also announced that Giroux, president and CEO since June 2009, has stepped down in anticipation of his term of office expiring at the forthcoming June 6 AGM. He is being replaced on an interim basis by Dominique Bamas, an independent board member since June 2009.

Henri Brisse, who joined in September 2011 as worldwide VP sales and marketing, will also be leaving the company. 

The board has praised Giroux for "weathering the 2009 storm, for initiating all necessary reforms, and for successfully repositioning the CE and IMH divisions on new trajectories".

Giroux will stay on to 31 March to facilitate the transition. 

Manitou Group expects a stable revenue and profitability in 2013, with operational progress compensating for the pressure on margins.
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