Sales Grow for Cramo Despite European Uncertainty

Finland-based international equipment rental giant Cramo posted €503.8 million (about U.S. $653.1 million) in sales for the first nine months of 2012, a 3.4-percent increase compared to the same period a year ago when it posted €487 million. Sales figures were affected by the divestment of Cramo’s modular space production and customized space rental businesses in Finland at the end of March. Sales growth excluding the divested businesses was 5.4 percent January through September and 2.2 percent in the third quarter.

Increasing financial uncertainty has weakened sales development, Cramo said. EBITA for the nine-month period was €56.1 million or 11.1 percent of sales. In the third quarter, EBITA was €31.2 million or 17.1 percent of sales.

Business was solid in Finland, Sweden and Eastern Europe in the third quarter, the company said, considering the market situation. Profitability improved in Norway and Denmark, and Central Europe as well.

After a period of strong growth, Cramo’s focus in 2012 is on optimizing its profitability and cash flow.

The demand for equipment rental is growing in Norway, Estonia and Russia, Cramo said. While growth predictions for construction activities and equipment rental have been adjusted downward, for the most part demand remains satisfactory, and Cramo’s expectations for 2012 remain unchanged.

“In the third quarter, Cramo Group achieved a good result, considering our market situation,” said CEO Vesa Koivula. “Market-specific differences in the demand for equipment rental have increased. In our main markets of Finland and Sweden, we have made preparations for weakening demand. In Norway, we have been able to move from improvement of operational efficiency to development of customer service, whereas in Central Europe, the theme for the current year is still harmonization of operations.

“Even though Cramo does not operate in Southern Europe, a region struggling with economic difficulties, the general uncertainty has postponed construction and industrial investments and decisions in Cramo’s market areas, too. In many Eastern European countries, the markets are again undergoing drastic changes. In Poland, the earlier strong growth in construction activity has now turned into negative development, and as a result we have adjusted our operations both in Poland and in some other Eastern European countries.”

Based in Vantaa, near Helsinki, Finland, Cramo operates in 15 countries in Northern, Central and Eastern Europe.

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