Manitou has achieved another record semester, with revenue growth of 24% compared to H1 2018.
Chief executive officer Michel Denis says business in the first half of the year was strong in all three markets - construction, industry and agriculture - as well as in almost all geographical areas.
"High production levels made it possible to sell the excess order book that the group had accumulated at the end of 2018. This performance contrasts with order intake, which is now showing a decline. A difficult-to-quantify part of this decrease is due to the return to normal delivery times, which prevent our customers from having to anticipate their orders well in advance," he says.
Denis also notes a significant drop in some markets such as the United Kingdom and South Africa, as well as "a more uncertain global economic environment with no visible signs of improvement in the short term".
Manitou's Material Handling & Access Division achieved half-year revenue of EUR830 million (USD933 million), an increase of 27% compared to H1 2018. Growth was very strong in all markets, with significant business with European rental companies. Faced with the slow-down in demand, all production sites are organising themselves to adjust their capacities, a situation for which they had made part of their direct and indirect means of production more flexible.
The Compact Equipment Products Division achieved revenue of EUR178 million (USD200 million), a rise of 18% compared to H1 2018. During the first half of the year, business was buoyant, particularly with North American rental companies. The division continues to be impacted by the evolution of the dollar, which increases the cost of its exports outside the United States. In order to adapt to a less favourable environment, the division has initiated an adjustment of its production capacities on its American sites.
With a turnover of EUR155 million (USD175 million), the Services & Solutions Division recorded a 14% increase in its activity, boosted by the used equipment sales and service activities.
Looking ahead, Denis says the group is reducing its production volumes and gradually limiting its structural costs and investment. "Given the historical invoicing level for the first half of the year, our expectations for 2019 of revenue growth of more than 10% compared to 2018 and recurring operating income in the order of 7.3% of revenue remain confirmed. All teams are still committed to continuing the group's strengthening and transformation projects."