Manitou grows but sales fall in Spain and UK

By Murray Pollok25 July 2008

The 20 m working height 200 ATJ articulated boom from Manitou is one of five new products the compan

The 20 m working height 200 ATJ articulated boom from Manitou is one of five new products the company will launch at APEX 2008

Buoyant sales of telehandlers to farmers and of industrial warehousing equipment helped grow Manitou's second quarter sales by 8.8% to €368 million. Manitou reported mixed fortunes in its main European markets, with falling sales in Spain and the UK offset by growth in Germany, Benelux and eastern and central Europe.

Bruno Fille, speaking at the company's first ever results conference call on 23 July, said country sales trends, positive and negative, became more pronounced during the quarter; "Equipment sales in the Spanish market fell sharply while sales in Germany, the Benelux countries and Central and Eastern Europe accelerated significantly...By type of business, sales of rough-terrain forklift-trucks continued to grow whereas sales of aerial work-platforms remained very much the same as last year despite a fall off in business at several rental companies."

Mr Fille also said that Manitou had experienced a fall in order intake from the end of March, partly because of a reduction in lead times - which means that dealers don't have to place orders in advance - and because of a slowdown in the building sectors in several European countries, notably the UK.

For the first half of the year, total sales grew by 8.1% to €725 million, despite a 70% fall in sales to Spain, from €79 million to €24 million, and a 15.7% reduction to €55 million in the UK, the result mainly of currency affects. Sales to its largest market, France, increased 18.5% to €297 million. Sales to Germany increased by 44% to €42 million and by 89% to €65 million in the Benelux countries. Sales to Poland more than double to €17 million.

Telehandler sales for the six months grew by 9% to €499 million, while sales of aerial platforms remained stable at €52 million. Industrial forklift and warehouse handling equipment sales rose by 17% to €55 million.

"At the end of June 2008 our order book was up by nearly 18% compared with end-June 2007", said Mr Fille, "It remains at a high level and represents more than four months of sales, providing the Group with good visibility and supporting management's guidance of growth of between 8% and 10% for the full year 2008."

The company also had to deal with a fall in sales as a result of the ending of its telehandler assembly activities for Case-New Holland. Sales under this contract amounted to €13.1 million in the first half of 2007.

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