Local News story

Financial results shape up

Wednesday, 6 August 2008 ( #372 )
Good performace from many major players.
Good performace from many major players. PHOTO: SHUTTERSTOCK
There have been indications of strong growth in most markets in the latest round of financial reporting by the major equipment manufacturers. Komatsu Ltd recorded a 2% gain and JPY57.73 billion (USD534 million) in quarterly profit. The gains are the result of sales of construction machines in China and other emerging markets even after delays in shipping. Komatsu expects strong demand for excavators and mining machines to continue in China, Russia and Latin America, which it anticipates will offset the unexpected weakness in more developed economies, particularly Japan and Europe. Hitachi Construction recorded a 41% gain in quarterly net profit helped in part by tax adjustments. Caterpillar Inc reported a 34% increase in quarterly profits, a result of increased sales. Net income increased to a record USD1.11 billion, up from USD823 million last year. Sales increased 20% to USD13.6 billion due to increased demand from road and power grid projects in Asia and the Middle East. The Manitowoc Company reported an increase of 28% in net sales for the financial quarter ended June 30. Net sales totalled USD1.3 billion with net sales from the crane business up 32% to USD1.06 billion. Operating earnings of USD167.0 million were 39 % higher than the second quarter of 2007 in spite of rising material costs and delays in delivering products to areas of China affected by earthquakes and related natural disasters. Manitowoc saw continued demand for high-capacity crawler, tower and mobile cranes. Manitou reported an increase in first half revenues of 8.1% to EUR725 million (USD1.12 billion). Sales in France rose by 18% to almost EUR300 million (USD464 million) but fell by 2.4% in other EU countries to EUR330 million (USD511 million). Sales to other regions of the world were up by 19.3% to EUR98 million (USD151 million). Sales in Spain experienced a 70% fall from EUR55 million to EUR24 million (USD85 million to USD37 million). Sales in the UK were down 15%. However, sales in Germany increased by 44% to EUR42 million (USD65 million). Telehandler sales approached EUR500 million (USD773 million), a 9% increase on 2007 and aerial lift sales were flat at EUR52 million (USD80 million). RSC reported first half rental revenues up 6.1% to USD777 million. Rental rates were up by just under 1% from the first quarter but 0.5% down on a year ago. RSC said that it was deliberately slowing sales of used equipment to reduce capital expenditure and take advantage of its young fleet. Capital expenditure for the first half of 2008 was USD115 million - 56% lower than in the first half of 2007. The Liebherr group reported sales reaching new records for most regions for the financial year 2007. Mobile crane sales increased by 18.4% to EUR1.6 billion (USD2.5 billion), construction cranes - largely tower cranes and duty cycle crawlers - and mixing group sales jumped 28.4% to EUR911 million (USD1.4 billion). Western Europe produced the largest revenues with increases of 13% to EUR4.28 billion (USD6.7 billion) which is 57% of the company's business. Eastern European sales were up 32% to EUR751.9 million (USD1.16 billion), with the main growth coming from Russia. However, sales fell in Asian and Australian markets by 3.5% to EUR724 million (USD1.12 billion) due to the lack of repeats of some major orders in 2006. United Rentals reported an almost 11% decrease in first half revenues to USD$1.6 billion. Rental revenues fell 2.8% to $1.2 billion, used sales fell 19%, and new machines sales dropped 27%. Capital expenditure for the first half was almost 29% lower than the first half of 2007 at USD469 million. Gehl reported first half revenues of USD193.2 million, a fall of 23% from last year, with gross margins down 25%, falling from 21.8% of revenues last year to 20.5% this year. Telehandler production fell by 14%, in a market that Gehl claims was down by 23%. Exports declined by 10% to USD58 million and now represent 30% of total revenues. Bronto has reported first half revenues up by over 30% to almost EUR67 million (USD103 million) and operating income increased by over 19% to EUR6.3 million (USD9.7 million). Haulotte announced its second-half results with revenues of EUR259 million (USD401 million), down 12% compared to last year. The company attributes the decrease to slower sales of new machines in Western Europe, particularly in June. New machine sales were EUR226 million (USD349 million), a 14% fall, with Western Europe down by 23%. However, there was a 22% increase in Eastern Europe. The UK market dropped 7% to EUR15.6 million (USD24 million). Net income did increase by 39.5% to EUR63 million (USD96 million), but half of this has been linked to the one-off capital gain on the sale of its French rental business, Lev.