Ramirent growth slows but sticks with positive outlook

By Murray Pollok09 August 2012

Ramirent's growth slowed during the second quarter of the year, with a 4.9% increase in like-for-like sales in the second quarter compared to the 12.4% growth in the first.

Sales and profitability improved at its Nordic businesses and in East Europe (Russia, Baltic States and Ukraine), but Ramirent reported an almost 20% fall in sales at its Europe central area (Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic and Slovakia), where demand in construction and industrial sectors fell.

Ramirent has not changed its guidance for the full year, with net sales and profits before taxes both expected to improve over 2011. Overall sales for the quarter were up 13.5% to €169.7 million, with EBIT profits (earnings before interest and tax) up 47% to €22.7 million.

Magnus Rosén, Ramirent's chief executive officer, said that the first half year that had "progressed well" but that the Europe Central figures were unsatisfactory; "Actions have been and will be taken to restructure operations to improve cost efficiencies and synergies across the four countries Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary."

Mr Rosén said market uncertainty meant that visibility remained low, "so we maintain a high preparedness to manage changes in market conditions. Our priority is operating on cautious capital expenditure, strict cost control and on maintaining a strong balance sheet."

Gross capital expenditure on fleet in the first half of the year was €59.6 million, compared to €76.5 million in the same period last year.

The most profitable businesses during the second quarter were Finland and Sweden followed by Norway and Europe East.

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