News story

Haulotte hit hard by COVID-19

Wednesday, 9 September 2020 ( #991 ) - L'Horme, France
A HA16 RTJ articulating boom working on Yunnan to Laos railway in China, one of the few bright spots for Haulotte.
A HA16 RTJ articulating boom working on Yunnan to Laos railway in China, one of the few bright spots for Haulotte.
Haulotte has released its results for the first half of 2020, revealing dramatic declines. Company executives confirm the COVID-19 health crisis has impacted the vast majority of the group's activities in all regions of the world since the beginning of 2020. The first effects were felt in China in January, forcing the group to halt its commercial and industrial activities in this country. Then, further impacts were felt from March in Europe and April in North and Latin America. Against this unprecedented backdrop, Haulotte posted half-year sales of EUR222.7 million (USD262 million), down 35% on the first half of 2019 (a record half-year in the group's history), with sales in the second quarter down 50% compared to 2019. Group half-year sales in Europe were down 39% year-on-year, with almost all markets posting a very sharp decline in the second quarter. In the Asia Pacific, half-year sales declined by 23%, despite a sharp rebound in sales in the Chinese market during the second quarter, China being the only significant market in the world to grow over the semester. Despite a sharp decline in the North American market, group half-year sales held up well, particularly in the aerial work platforms business, and declined by 28% over the period. In Latin America, already strongly affected by a difficult economic and political context, COVID-19 only aggravated the situation in all markets, resulting in a 47% drop in activity over the semester. With the group's net debt increasing by EUR19.5 million (USD23 million) to EUR140.9 million (USD166 million), Haulotte has obtained waivers on repayments and an extension for an additional year of its borrowing terms. Looking ahead, the company's results statement notes that "in a very uncertain environment, where the lack of visibility remains a reality, Haulotte forecasts a decline in sales of 25% to 30% in 2020 and a current operating income (excluding exchange gain and loss) that should remain positive at year-end".