European rental giant Cramo posted €171.1 million (about U.S. $214.4 million) in sales in the third quarter, a 1.4-percent decrease compared to the third quarter a year ago. In local currencies, sales grew by 1.9 percent. EBITA dropped slightly year over year from €32.3 million a year ago to €30.5 million this year.
For the first nine months of 2014, sales totaled €471.2 million, compared to €482.2 million a year ago, a 2.3-percent drop. In local currencies, sales grew by 2.1 percent, excluding restructuring in Russia.
“In 2014, the European economies have recovered slower than anticipated, which has affected the demand for equipment rental services,” said CEO Vesa Koivula. “Cramo Group’s euro-denominated sales for the first nine months were slightly lower than last year. However, sales grew in in local currencies. In the third quarter, all business segments achieved a positive result. Still, Cramo Group’s profitability was slightly below last year. The upward turn in the Swedish market occurred later than we anticipated and the transition program in Central Europe has not fully performed according to our expectations.
“In September, we announced Cramo Group’s updated strategy. The new strategy is more focused, involves everyone at Cramo and will enable us to reach our financial targets. The core of our new strategy is ‘Cramo People living the Cramo Story.’ Cramo Story is a wide program aiming at increasing sales, differentiating ourselves from competition, providing a specific customer value and strengthening our corporate culture in order to achieve our targets.”
Cramo reported strong results in Scandinavia and Eastern Europe, with softer results in Eastern Europe. Cramo said Eurozone economies are still expected to resume growth in 2014, however modest. The prolonged Ukrainian crisis and the spreading of its impacts from Russia to Europe have increased uncertainty about economic development.
In the long-term, however, the equipment rental market is expected to grow faster than construction.
Cramo, Europe’s second-largest rental services company, is headquartered in Vantaa, near Helsinki, Finland. Cramo has operations in 15 countries with 360 branches.