Manitou CEO Michel Denis has reported a 35% drop in sales in the first half of 2020, as a result of "the sudden COVID-19 crisis that has been disrupting our markets since mid-March".
"As soon as the health crisis emerged, we reacted very quickly to implement health and operational measures to protect our employees and continue to meet the urgent needs of our customers. A crisis management steering committee was immediately activated to define the direction and priority actions to be implemented," he says, adding that Manitou established constant communication with its teams, stakeholders and board of directors.
"The agility and reactivity of our employees enabled us to maintain support to our customers and users throughout the period, particularly in terms of spare parts and technical assistance.
"On the industrial side, we were able, from mid-April, to gradually restart the French and Italian plants' production lines by introducing strict health and safety procedures. Significant production re-planning work has been carried out with our customers and suppliers in order to be able to deliver the most urgent orders. This was particularly the case for those in the agricultural sector or in remote geographical areas whose seasonality required shipment before the summer shutdown."
The CEO says these measures helped Manitou to get through this very difficult period in the best possible way and "we have now returned to a market order adjusted to the current volumes of activity in our markets".
Sales for the Material Handling & Access Division fell 40.2% compared to the first half of 2019.
The Compact Equipment Products Division fared slightly better, with sales off 30.9%.
The Services & Solutions Division was least affected, with revenues down 8.6% over the six months.
"On the strength of the upturn at the end of the quarter, the group ended the first half of the year with an order book of EUR555 million (USD653 million), which enables us to estimate a sales outlook for 2020 that is around 30% lower than in 2019 and, in the absence of any further deterioration in the global economic context, a current operating profit in the range of 2.7% to 3.2%," says Denis. "We also believe that the crisis we are going through will have economic consequences beyond 2020 and that our current operating income target of more than 8% of sales under the Ambition 2022 plan will not be achieved by the initial target date."