Manitou expects strong performance in the materials handling sector.
French equipment maker Manitou ended the last financial period in good shape, with 2017 revenues of EUR1.591 billion (USD1.97 billion).
Michel Denis, president and chief executive officer, says the group strengthened its marketshare and grew its sales revenues by 19%.
"Development was recorded in all geographical regions. In terms of sector, construction has seen the liveliest growth, driven by market momentum and strengthened activity with European and North American rental companies.
"In the agricultural sector, our new range of telehandlers has enjoyed even greater success. This has enabled us to strengthen our position in a market that is buoyant again.
"Lastly, in industry, the group has bolstered its positions in the industrial and all-terrain handling equipment segments."
Denis says sales over the last quarter improved, "with customer orders that have continued to develop and surpass previous invoicing levels".
He notes that the entire operational chain proved capable of coping with the inevitable tensions that arose during the rapid ramp-up in production needed to deliver the required volumes.
"This acceleration in activity occurred amidst continuing inflation in the cost of materials; the group is reflecting these costs in its sales prices, but is applying them over an extended period of time, given the large number of orders placed which will impact on the operating margin, without jeopardising the 2017 guidance."
Looking to 2018, Denis predicts growth to continue, expecting sales revenues to rise 10% compared with 2017, with stronger growth in the second semester than the first part of the year.
Strong performance is expected in the materials handling sector thanks to the continued launch of new products, with the renewal of the range of masted forklifts and the return to the articulated telehandlers segment.