News story

Hyster-Yale, Oshkosh, Manitowoc post gains in lift equipment sales

Thursday, 9 May 2013 ( #615 ) - United States
Hyster-Yale Materials Handling Inc, Oshkosh Corp and Manitowoc Co Inc report quarterly gains in equipment manufacturing operations. Hyster-Yale increases profit, sales on higher unit volume Hyster-Yale Materials Handling reports profit of USD24.6 million on sales of USD644.9 million for the first quarter ended 31 March. Those results compare with profit of USD21.2 million on sales of USD629.5 million for the first quarter of 2012. The higher sales resulted from an increase in unit volumes to 20,756 from 20,079; the favourable effect of unit price increases implemented in 2012, primarily in the Americas; and an increase in parts sales. Shipments increased in the Americas and the Asia-Pacific region but were lower in Europe. The firm's backlog was about 27,500 units as of 31 March compared with about 22,300 units a year earlier. Hyster-Yale says about the industry: "The overall global market is expected to grow moderately in 2013 compared with 2012, driven primarily by increased volumes in the Americas, principally as a result of growth in Brazil and Latin America and moderate growth in Asia-Pacific, Middle Eastern and African markets." Western Europe macro-economic conditions may lead to further decline in that market, the company says. Mayfield Heights, Ohio-based Hyster-Yale, through wholly-owned operating subsidiary Nacco Materials Handling Group Inc, designs, engineers, manufactures, sells and services forklifts and aftermarket parts that are marketed globally under the Hyster, Yale and Utilev brand names. Nacco Industries Inc spun off Hyster-Yale into a separate, publicly traded company on 28 September. Oshkosh access sales up 7.5% in quarter Sales for the Oshkosh access equipment segment increased 7.5% to USD817.4 million for the quarter ended 31 March compared to the same quarter last year. The segment includes JLG-brand aerial work platforms and telehandlers and Jerr-Dan-brand tow trucks and roll-back vehicle carriers. Charles Szews, Oshkosh chief executive officer, says: "Our access equipment segment continued to benefit from replacement-driven demand and improved pricing." Oshkosh experienced higher replacement demand for telehandlers in North America, a realisation of previously announced price increases effective from 1 January and higher aftermarket parts and service sales. "Our customers are seeing that it's a good time to get their telehandler fleet in good shape as the housing recovery does expand," Szews says during a conference call. "But the housing recovery isn't real robust right now." Wilson Jones, president and chief operating officer, says: "Independent rental companies are coming back to market for new equipment. Outside North America, markets continue to be mixed. Overall, we're experiencing slow growth in Europe with activity better in northern Europe [and] at very low levels in southern Europe." Lower unit sales volume occurred in Australia. An unidentified customer has slowed purchases, and mining and energy activities are sagging. "Australia is a big market for us," David Sagehorn, chief financial officer and executive vice president, says. "One of the major players there is going through a process that is causing them to pause their purchases, and it's a particularly big customer for us." Mining and liquefied-natural-gas projects "are delayed or moving along slower". For continuing operations, Oshkosh, Wisconsin-based Oshkosh reports profit of USD85.4 million on sales of USD1.98 billion for the March quarter. Oshkosh reported profit of USD42.8 million on the quarter's sales of USD2.06 billion in the comparable 2012 period. Increased sales in three business segments were insufficient to offset lower defence segment sales. Szews says: "Last year at this time, we had a big military telehandler backlog; we don't have that this year." Manitowoc sees growth in North American crane market Sales for the crane segment of heavy construction lift specialist Manitowoc climbed 7.8% to USD547.4 million in the first quarter ended 31 March. Glen Tellock, Manitowoc chairman, chief executive officer and president, says: "We continue to see growth in North America as crane customers are beginning to renew their fleets due to increased project activity and improving rental rates." . Eric Etchart, Manitowoc senior vice president and crane segment president, underscores the "significant rebound of our product crane business worldwide but especially in North America" and describes the competitive environment in Latin America as "fierce". For continuing operations, the Manitowoc, Wisconsin-based company reports profit of USD10.4 million on sales of USD898.0 million for the first quarter. In the first quarter of 2012, including special charges, Manitowoc lost USD300,000 on sales of USD851.9 million. In addition to crawler, tower and mobile cranes, Manitowoc manufactures commercial foodservice equipment.