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Manitex results mixed; Linamar upbeat


Wednesday, 11 Mar 2015 ( #709 ) - Bridgeview, IL, UNITED STATES and Guelph, ON, Canada
News Story
Linamar’s Skyjack SJ6832RTE rough-terrain scissors
For 2014, Manitex International Inc reports lower profit but gains in year-to-year sales, while Linamar Corp logs higher profits on higher sales.

Manitex

Bridgeview-based Manitex has reported profit of USD7.1 million on 2014 sales of USD264 million compared to profit of USD10.2 million on 2013 sales of USD245 million.

David Langevin, Manitex chairman and chief executive officer, comments: "While we achieved record net sales and maintained our track record of profitability and EBITDA generation, even in a difficult equipment operating environment, our company’s biggest achievements in the year were the transactions we consummated, which have positioned us for continued long-term shareholder growth."

Manitex saw improvements in margins in the fourth quarter but recognises a need to continue working on cost containment to protect the margins. "To ensure success in that process, we have put together a plan to reduce our costs by USD4 million and a total of at least USD15 million over the next three years," Langevin says. Targets include costs for procurement and production of goods sold along with selling, general and administrative expenses.

Manitex completed the acquisition of 51% of ASV Inc of Grand Rapids, Minnesota from joint venture partner Terex Corp on 19 December and concluded the purchase of PM-Group SpA of San Cesario sul Panaro, Italy on 15 January following a pre-packaged debt restructuring in European courts. Manitex will focus during 2015 on integrating ASV and PM within its operating structure.

Subsequent to the acquisition, Manitex converted ASV to a limited liability company and changed its name to ASV LLC. ASV manufactures compact rubber-tracked and skid steer loaders.

PM-Group makes truck-mounted hydraulic knuckle boom cranes.

"ASV has an excellent track record in serving the housing industry and we believe that there is substantial value that our shareholders will recognise from ASV’s contribution, with margins that are higher than ours and exposure to the growing construction market," Langevin notes. "Further, the PM-Group brings to Manitex shareholders a similar opportunity with its product extension in our most profitable crane category and a restructured balance sheet."

During 2014, Manitex spent about USD2.4 million for transaction costs associated with the ASV joint venture and anticipates USD1.3 million more during the first quarter of 2015.

In the Manitex backlog, ASV accounts for about USD9 million of the total of USD107 million. Manitex had a backlog of USD77.3 million as of 31 December 2013. In addition to ASV and PM, the firm’s brands include Manitex, CVS Ferrari, Badger, Liftking, Load King, Sabre and Valla.

Linamar

Linamar reports profit of CAD320.6 million (USD276.4 million) on 2014 sales of CAD4.17 billion (USD3.59 billion) - up from CAD216.1 million (USD186.2 million) on 2013 sales of CAD3.6 billion (USD3.1 billion).

Linamar’s Skyjack operating group makes aerial work platforms and telehandlers. The SJ6832RTE rough-terrain scissors is among Skyjack’s newer products.

In discussing the access equipment market, Linda Hasenfratz, chief executive officer, reports Guelph-based Linamar saw increased North American, Asian and European sales from higher market demand for access equipment, and marketshare growth for booms in Europe and for scissor lifts in Asia.

In the access market, Hasenfratz projects that "market growth in the 5% to 10% range is expected for 2015 with the European market expected to outpace growth in North America. Skyjack had a great year in global markets in 2014 with the UK and European sales up dramatically. So, stronger growth in Europe is good news for us."

Relating to better sales traction in Asia, Linamar projects Skyjack continuing its global and product line expansions "to drive marketshare growth in all products and regions", Hasenfratz says. "Our targeted to see Skyjack hit CAD1 billion in sales by 2020."

Linamar employs more than 19,500 staff and manufactures engineered products through two operating segments - powertrain/driveline and industrial. The industrial segment is divided into the machining/assembly, forging and Skyjack operating groups.

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