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Strong pickup for Manitowoc

8. May 2018 | Comments (0)

Manitowoc Crane has reported a 26 percent rise in first quarter revenues as sales pick up.

Total revenues for the quarter were $386.1 million 26 percent up on the same quarter last year due - says the company - to improved crane shipments across all regions, with the USA and European markets generating the majority of the increase. The improvement was sufficient to bring the company back into the black at the operating level, while reducing last year’s pre-tax loss of $12.7 million to $7.8 million. The company is forecasting full year revenues of around $1.77 to $1.85 billion, up from $1.6 million in 2017.

Chief executive Barry Pennypacker said: “We began 2018 by delivering another quarter of solid financial results using the principles of The Manitowoc Way. This marked our fourth consecutive quarter of year-over-year improvement in financial performance, culminating in a 400 basis-point improvement in adjusted EBITDA percentage over the comparable period. Our enhanced product portfolio is delivering new levels of differentiation and value demonstrated by increases in customer demand for our extensive range of products.”

“The global crane market is reaching an inflection point, and it shows in our order rates year to date. However, like many capital goods companies, we are beginning to see headwinds in terms of materials inflation and supply chain challenges. Also, foreign currency exchange rates are putting pressure on our margins, most notably on European produced cranes that we sell in the U.S. We are actively managing these challenges and aggressively taking pricing actions to ensure that we deliver our full year EBITDA guidance of $100 to $120 million.”

“We are clearly making meaningful progress in transforming Manitowoc into a leaner, more profitable crane company. In June we will be showcasing our transformation to customers, dealers and investors at our Crane Days event in Shady Grove. This event will highlight our industry-leading products and service solutions, including the introduction of five new innovative cranes.”

Vertikal Comment

No question about it, Manitowoc is making something of a comeback, helped along of course by an improving crane market - especially for All Terrains and tower cranes.

Whether Rough Terrain crane sales ever reach the levels of the past remains a question. It is more likely that some of the duties previously carried out by RTs are now handled by anything from telehandlers to small tower cranes to less material handling on site.

The company’s Potain tower crane business remains a leading player in the market, which has been rebounding well over the past couple of years. It is though seeing more competition from companies like Raimondi making a comeback, the Chinese improving their quality and Spanish producers regaining strength. On the All Terrain front it is not just Grove that has been increasing its sales, Terex/Demag is recovering rapidly, while Tadano looks to have overcome its production/component issues and Liebherr ploughs on regardless. So on both these product lines taking market share from others is no easy feat.

A key element might be to win market share in developing markets, which are sure to expand more rapidly over the next few years, persuading buyers to trade up from or avoid less illustrious brands and cheaper Chinese products. It will be very interesting to see how the next couple of years pans out - both for Manitowoc and its key competitors.

This is though a very good start to the year.

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