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Manitex up more than 40%

10. May 2018 | Comments (0)

US based crane and aerial lift manufacturer Manitex has reported a steep rise in first quarter sales.

Total revenues for the quarter were $56.7 million up 41 percent on the same quarter last year when compared to ongoing operations – the actual revenue last year was $67.85 but that still included the ASV division. Much of the gains came from a pick up in boom truck and truck crane sales and the PM loader crane business. The company managed to more than halve its pre-tax losses from $3.42 million to a loss of $1.38 million.

Chief executive David Langevin said: In the quarter we saw a 41 percent improvement in sales, driven by strengthening global demand across our product lines and geographies, led by Manitex straight mast cranes, where we estimate our market share has risen from 39 percent at the end of last year, to over 50 percent. Gross margins were closer to our 20 percent plus target, but legal and accounting expenses of approximately $1 million related to our restatements were a significant drain of earnings and an offset to the benefits of the sales increase and other improvements to margins and produced a net loss for the quarter.”

“A backlog of over $85 million and continued positive order flow in April gives us visibility for higher sales throughout the year, and we are targeting significant gross margin improvements as well. We are positioned to benefit from manufacturing throughput and efficiency gains, as well as repricing actions already implemented to offset steel cost increases, to get us to sustainable profitability, with EBITDA margins of 10 percent, likely by the end of the year. Recovery fundamentals in the industrial equipment market and for our company look strong, and we’re working hard to take advantage of the opportunities that are available to us.”

Chief operating officer Steve Kiefer added: “During the first quarter we saw an increase in orders, industry activity and market share in each of our key product categories. Our book to bill ratio in the first quarter increased to 1.44 versus 1.25 in the fourth quarter of 2017, and orders for our PM knuckle boom cranes again represented a significant portion of our growing backlog. From a product and end market perspective, the recovery in the straight mast crane market strengthened during the first quarter with industry orders reaching a level not observed since the 2012 – 2014 period, and early indications are that the trend is continuing into the second quarter. We also began initial shipments of the A62 truck mounted aerial work platform and trolley boom loader during the quarter.”

Vertikal Comment

Manitex has had a troubling year or so as it battled to restate earlier results, and sell of some of its acquired businesses, but there are signs now of it getting back on track. The company runs a number of relatively small far flung businesses however, with Manitex in the USA and PM, Oil & Steel and Valla cranes in Italy. While the company has always marketed its Manitex booms trucks well in North America, it appears to struggle to promote its European built products sufficiently well enough to gain the momentum that many of its competitors already have. It really needs to do something about this if it is to avoid simply following the ups and downs of the industry and economy.
The company has some real opportunities, the challenge is taking them and then making the most out of them.

Having said this, it is heading in the right direction and ought to move back into the black in the second or third quarter. It will be interesting to see how the business develops.


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