Cargotec is reporting some recovery in its markets, although sales and orders are still down on the same period last year.
Third-quarter orders were down 14% from last year, at EUR740 million (USD875 million), while sales fell by the same margin to EUR777 million (USD918 million). For the January to September period, the declines were steeper - orders dropping 22% and software and service sales down 36%, although equipment sales fell just 10%.
CEO Mika Vehviläinen seems upbeat about the performance to date.
"Even in an exceptional operating environment, Cargotec's strategic direction has proved to be the right one and, yet again, we managed to make a reasonable result, despite the pandemic situation," he says.
"Visibility was still weak at the beginning of the third quarter but the recovery in the market environment that started after April eventually continued throughout the third quarter."
Vehviläinen says the company's delivery capability returned to normal during the last quarter, and its supply chain is also back on track.
"On the other hand, the data collected from our connected equipment tells us that the activity levels of our customers have been rising closer to last year's levels. In addition, for example, Drewry's statistics on the number of containers handled in ports show that the reduction has so far proved to be less dramatic than what the forecasts predicted."
Demand for Kalmar's mobile equipment and Hiab's solutions in particular recovered from the decline caused by the Coronavirus pandemic, he adds. Regarding larger automation orders, uncertainty and pandemic restrictions still slowed down customer decision-making, and the situation in the offshore oil and gas as well as merchant ship markets remain challenging.
Vehviläinen notes that MacGregor received a significant order during the quarter to supply a mission-critical system in an offshore wind foundation installation vessel - its largest single vessel contract to date.
"The recovery trend in sales from the second quarter also continued and our services business remained stable. However, sales remained below the comparison period's level, which was also reflected in a decrease in comparable operating profit," he explains.
All eyes are now on the planned merger between Cargotec and Konecranes, announced
earlier this month. The merger is subject to the obtaining of merger control approvals, among other items.