Manitou inventory sales helps final quarter figures

By Murray Pollok05 February 2010

Manitou said it expected to see "mid to high single digit growth" in 2010 compared to 2009, although the first half of the year is unlikely to see any significant growth.

Manitou continues to talk to Gehl's bankers about breaches in covenants on its main credit agreement. It said there was no guarantee of success but that Gehl's better than expected performance in January "may help resolve the situation".

In the coming weeks, Gehl will adopt a leaner management structure, with some key executives likely to leave the company, said Manitou.

Manitou posted revenues of €179.5 million in the final quarter of 2009 - 39% down on the previous year's quarter. This included €25 million from a "special inventory pushout", which saw one-off discounts on selected machines. Sales for the year were €1.48 billion, down 54% on 2008.

Excluding the inventory sale, revenues grew by 5.3% compared to the third quarter of the year.

Manitou said it expected to be close to break-even on EBITDA (profit before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization) for 2010 "thanks to reviving manufactured
volumes and lowered fixed costs."

Jean-Christophe Giroux, Manitou chief executive officer, said; "We're pleased to see that we've eventually bottomed out, with Q4 showing some evidence for organic growth again. We're also very pleased with the results of our inventory pushout program last December...This helped turn the page over a 2009 year that still shows a 54% [fall] versus 2008".

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