Manitou's rough-terrain handling equipment range
Manitou has temporarily shut production units in the wake of a fall in orders for rough-terrain handling equipment due to the downturn of the European construction market. It forecasts a 20% fall in sales during the final quarter of the year.
Despite this downturn, the company's sales increased by 6.6% for the nine months to 30 September to just over EUR1 billion (USD1.25 billion) and a 3% increase in the most recent quarter.
Manitou reported strong sales growth in France (up by 15%) with other EU countries up 36%. However, both Spain and the United Kingdom experienced sharp declines in sales - 71% and 33% respectively. Manitou attributes this decline to the countries' exposure to the property crisis.
Sales of rough-terrain forklifts increased by 6.7% to EUR682 million (USD855 million) and industrial equipment increased by 23.7% to EUR77 million (USD96 million).
However, the company says there have been a large number of requests from distributors and dealers to delay deliveries because of declining financial circumstances. It also reports one-off orders have been temporarily cancelled in Russia and Central Europe.
Manitou anticipates group sales for the rest of 2008 will decline 15% to 20% because of the effects of the economic situation in Europe.
Since the middle of the year, the company has been implementing a cost saving plan to reduce external charges and reduce its temporary staff.