Despite an increasingly challenging market, Jungheinrich has reported increases in revenue and incoming orders over the first six months of the year. The main driver of this positive performance was the new truck business, with a two-digit growth rate.
The company statement notes that the market continued to slow in the second quarter of 2019 compared with the first quarter. This is due to the worsening macroeconomic environment and the related current market decline in materials handling equipment.
Jungheinrich says it continues to place particular emphasis on strategically important fields of activity and to invest in cutting-edge lithium-ion battery technology, for example.
Hans-Georg Frey, chairman of the board of management of Jungheinrich AG, notes: "The first half of 2019 went well for Jungheinrich overall. The current financial year had a strong start; however, we have recently registered a significant fall in customer investing activity. The uncertainties resulting from the continuing trade conflicts also have an effect on our industry. We have, therefore, updated our forecast for 2019 early on and are expecting a somewhat lower development in incoming orders and EBIT. Our orders accounting for five months of production remain on course and our revenue goal remains the same.
"As the leading provider of electric trucks, we are firmly convinced that we are on the right track with our proven growth strategy. The expansion in capacity of JT Energy Systems guarantees that we can meet the growing demand for electric forklift trucks with lithium-ion batteries. We are the industry trendsetter. With our holistic approach of providing all components such as drive systems, batteries and battery chargers from a single source, we ensure our trucks boast optimum energy efficiency."
Frey says the market volume for materials handling equipment declined 5% across the globe in the first half of 2019 in comparison with the same period of the previous year. This corresponds to almost 42,000 units.
The downturn in the second quarter of 2019 was more significant than in the first quarter of 2019, particularly in Europe. Looking at June on its own, the European market actually declined by 16%, he says. This downturn in the reporting period is, by and large, due to the steep decline in orders in the North American and European markets. In contrast, the increase in market volume in China resulted from solid demand for warehousing equipment, which was, however, largely cancelled out by the negative market development for IC engine-powered forklift trucks. A little more than half of the steep decline in demand in North America resulted from fewer orders for warehousing equipment.