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Manitou forklift sales grow in 2010

Thursday, 3 Feb 2011 ( #499 ) - Ancenis, France
News Story
Manitou CEO Jean-Christophe Giroux
Manitou BF’s industrial material handling (IMH) division grew 4% in 2010 with most of the growth achieved on the French market through Toyota forklifts.

Manitou CEO Jean-Christophe Giroux says the company experienced "a strong fourth quarter and a good finish for 2010". "Even if market conditions are tough to read, we cannot deny a better environment and a catch-up effect in renewal cycles."

Giroux adds that equipment orders are up 48% in the fourth quarter compared to the third quarter in 2010, resulting in overheating and inefficient operations as the company cannot source components quickly enough to cater for the demand.

Manitou’s full-year revenue is EUR838 million (USD1.159 billion), 23% higher than in 2009. Net sales for Manitou’s IMH division were EUR123.8 million (USD171.2 million) in 2009 and 2010. On the books, there is a record of 0% growth for the division in 2010 but Manitou says the 4% full-year organic growth for the division was offset by the discontinuation of a sales distribution contract outside of France.

"The revenue progressed on both counterbalance and warehouse forklifts as well as on mast subcontracting activity. Most of the growth was achieved on the French market with Toyota forklifts," Manitou said.

Manitou and Toyota Industries Corp have a joint venture company, Toyota Industrial Equipment SA (TIE), headquartered in Ancenis. The company manufactures and assembles industrial forklifts under the Toyota brand. In mid-2007, Manitou cut its shareholding in TIE from 40% to 20%. The move coincided with the end of former Manitou CEO Marcel Braud’s term as chairman of TIE’s board of directors. Manitou also manufactures masts for TIE forklifts ( News #321).

Giroux predicts 2011 to be a year of recovery with revenue expected to grow 20% for the French company. "[Our] performance will depend entirely on our ability to improve our efficiency and manage the suppliers’ double squeeze from (increased prices of raw materials) and constrained manufacturing capacity."
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