Forklift manufacturing specialist Manitou posted second quarter sales of €350.6 million (about U.S. $474.5 million), a 9.8-percent increase compared to the second quarter of 2013. Sales were particularly strong in Northern Europe, with a 21-percent leap, as well as 14 percent in the Americas. Sales also increased in Asia Pacific (4 percent), but dropped 3 percent in Southern Europe.
For the first half of 2014, revenue was €641.9 million, compared to €591.2 million a year ago, an 8.6-percent leap, with Northern Europe leading the way with a 24-percent rise.
“The market was dynamic in Northern Europe and the U.S., which offsets the regions impacted by tensions such as Russia and South America,” said Michel Denis, president and CEO. “Growth was highlighted in the construction business among the customers of rental companies, especially in the U.K., where there was a recovery with especially strong growth. On the other hand, the agriculture business as a whole recorded a slowdown in order intake, the impact of which should be felt in the second half. The industrial sectors evolved with contrasted trends, especially in the mining business, which is still sluggish and industrial handling, which showed sustained growth, confirming the success in that sector of our new range of MI forklift trucks.”
Denis was bullish about the company’s outlook. “The performance achieved in the first half leads us to upgrade our outlook for 2014 to a sales increase objective of approximately 5 percent versus 2013, as compared to our previous outlook of stable sales, and a current operating income between 2.8 and 3.3 percent, up 100 to 150 basis points, compared to 2013 (versus 50 to 100 points previously forecasted.)”
With quarterly sales of €248.3 million, the Rough Terrain Handling Division reported growth of 11 percent compared to the second quarter of 2013. Business in the construction sector benefited from the strong demand from rental companies, and strong performance from telehandlers and aerial work platforms.
The Industrial Material Handling Division had quarterly sales of €29.2 million, an 11-percent year-over-year drop. The Compact Equipment Division posted sales of €73 million, a 17-percent jump, best since 2008, with particularly strong U.S. demand.
Manitou, which includes the Gehl and Mustang brands, is based in Ancenis, France, with U.S. headquarters in Waco, Texas.