Signs of recovery end difficult year for Manitou

By Euan Youdale11 March 2014



Manitou saw revenue falls in all three of its divisions during the 2013 financial year, although rises in the second half suggest growth in the coming months.

The company’s Rough Terrain Handling telehandler division generated €810.5m revenue in 2013, compared to €856.6m in 2012, a decrease of 5% (-4% at constant exchange rates).

Pressure on margins was generated by engine regulations, the concentration of the construction industry towards rental customers and the revaluation of the Euro against other currencies, said the company.

“The work achieved on operating control and the work initiated on fixed overhead expenses could only partially offset the pressure on volumes and margins,” said a company spokesman. As a result the division closed the year with an operating income of €12.1m, a decrease of 1.8 points compared to 2012.

With revenue of €242.1m compared to €245.2 million in 2012, the Compact Equipment Division’s sales decreased by 1% (+2% at constant exchange rates).

Driven by the recovery of construction activity in the USA, the division benefited from strong growth in telehandler rental customers, while pressure mounted on compact skid-steers due to the change of engine standards for the new product range.

The Industrial Material Handling Division posted revenue of €123.8m, a decrease of 24% compared to 2012, split between the impact from the termination of the Toyota distribution contract (-28%) and growth in the other businesses (+4%). Launched internationally in 2012 and in early 2013 in France to compensate for the Toyota distribution contract, the company said its new range of MI industrial trucks has found solid success.

As Michel Denis, president and CEO, explained, "The results in 2013 reflect the decrease in sales of 7%, of which, be reminded, 4% is related to the termination of Toyota distribution and 2% to changes in the value of the euro.

He added, “In 2013, the group's results were impacted by an increasingly competitive environment exacerbated by pressure on margins related to adaptation to new engine standards, as well as the impact of currencies.”

Despite this, he added that recurring operating profit in the second half of the year was a clear improvement on the first half. The group closed the year with a net income of €0.7m.

“I’m absolutely convinced that we’re already on the path towards further success. Our leadership, the confidence of our network, of our customers, the reputation of our machines and the motivation of our teams are key assets upon which we can rely to succeed," said Mr Denis.

At constant exchange rate, Manitou’s outlook is for stable revenue and an improvement in its operating profit by 50 to 100 base points.

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