A significant drop in volume at the materials handling group of Nacco Industries Inc resulted in a companywide loss of USD9.1 million for the first quarter ended March 31 versus profit of USD5.6 million in the comparable 2008 period.
The wholesale materials handling segment "expects significant declines in all lift truck markets in 2009 compared with 2008" and projects "limited recovery until 2010", the company says. The segment saw a 45.2% decline in first quarter revenues to USD371.6 million from USD677.9 million and March 31 worldwide backlog dropping to 12,800 units from the year-earlier 29,100 units.
Mayfield Heights-based Nacco's responses included capital expenditure restraints, planned plant downtime, reductions-in-force, restrictions on spending and travel, suspension of incentive compensation and profit-sharing, wage freezes, and salary and benefit reductions.
The segment, as part of the Nacco Materials Handling Group unit, designs, manufactures and supplies forklift trucks and aftermarket parts globally under the Hyster and Yale brand names.
Meanwhile, Bridgeview, Illinois-based Manitex International Inc reported a 40.4% decline in sales for the first quarter ended March 31. The 2009 quarter total was USD14.0 million versus USD23.5 million last year.
Despite the drop, Manitex remained profitable and cashflow-positive during the quarter. "We were able to react quickly to dramatically reduce our costs," says David Langevin, Manitex chairman and chief executive officer. "Further, we were able to maintain our 30% marketshare for the quarter in our main product category."
Manitex's Liftking subsidiary makes Noble straight-mast rough terrain forklifts, Lowry high-capacity cushion-tyred forklifts and Schaeff electric indoor forklifts.