Cramo posted a slight drop of 0.8 percent in second quarter revenue of €160.1 million (about U.S. $212.3 million), compared with €161.4 million a year ago. The numbers do not include divested operations and the restructuring of Cramo’s Russia operations. For the first six months of the year, sales declined 4 percent, from €321.4 million a year ago to €308.6 million.
“After the difficult first months of the year, the demand for equipment rental picked up in the spring as expected,” said CEO Vesa Koivula. “At the same time, we continued the implementation of our strategy, that is: the roll-out of a uniform business model and efficient processes. When combined with cost savings and efficiency measures completed earlier, this improved our profitability in the second quarter.
“After the quiet first months of the year, our fleet utilization rates started to improve quickly halfway through the period and rose to a good level towards the end of the period. However, it is still too early to estimate whether we reached the low point of the business cycle in our main markets at the end of the winter season. Our aim is to improve profitability in all of our markets but especially in Norway, Denmark and Central Europe. Developments during the first months of the year show we are on the right track.”
Looking ahead, economic uncertainty in Europe continues, although demand for rental services remain solid. According to the forecast published by the European Rental Association in May, equipment rental will increase in 2013 in all of Cramo’s main market areas, although Cramo is taking a cautious approach.
Construction activity is expected to decrease slightly this year in Finland, Sweden, Poland, Estonia, the Czech Republic and Slovakia, according to Euroconstruct. However, construction growth is expected in Norway, Denmark, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania and Russia.
Based in Vantaa, near Helsinki, Finland, Cramo has operations in 15 European countries.