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Ramirent Posts Nine-Month Growth as Slowdown Takes Hold

International rental company Ramirent posted a net volume increase of 16.7 percent to €530.1 million (about U.S. 663 million) for the first nine months of 2008, compared with €454.5 million for the same period of 2007. EBITDA increased 1.8 percent to €172.3 million (U.S. $215.3 million), compared with €169.2 million for the year-ago period.

Net volume for the third quarter increased 12.9 percent to €187.2 million (about U.S. $234 million), compared with €165.8 million for the year-ago quarter.

“The global financial crisis and the economic slowdown continued to weaken the rental market in most of our countries during the third quarter,” said CEO Kari Kallio. “Overall the level of investments in new construction and industrial projects is decreasing rapidly while the level of renovation activities is more stable. During the third quarter our net sales were still growing by 13 percent but the operating profit decreased by 11 percent due to weaker market conditions.

“In the Nordic countries, our business operations in Finland and Sweden continued on a high level, while in Norway our operations weakened further due to the slowdown in the construction markets. In Denmark, construction activities continued to decline, affecting our operations negatively.”

Kallio said that while strong growth continued in Russia and Ukraine, business volumes and operating profits dropped in the Baltic countries. Strong growth continued in Poland, Czech Republic and Slovakia, while Hungary struggled in weak market conditions.

“Due to the rapid deceleration of the market, our margins and profitability declined,” added Kallio. “We will intensify the process of re-allocating excess fleet capacity to markets facing more favorable conditions.”

Ramirent is based in Vantaa, Finland, and has 361 branches in 13 countries.

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