Munich, Germany-based Wacker Neuson experienced a strong start to 2012 with positive business development reported across the entire Wacker Neuson Group. First-quarter group revenue was €274.0 million (about U.S. $348.5 million), an increase of 3 percent from €264.0 million in the same quarter last year.
“The compact equipment segment and the Americas region were our two strongest growth drivers, reporting revenue gains of 51 percent and 34 percent respectively relative to the previous year’s quarter,” said Cem Peksaglam, Wacker Neuson CEO. “Our expansion strategies are gaining traction. Despite general economic uncertainty in individual markets, they will continue to secure our success over the coming year.”
Revenue generated by agricultural equipment was up 41 percent on the previous year. Demand for light equipment — utilities products in particular — also rose during the first quarter of 2012, fueling a 20-percent rise in revenue in this segment.
Earnings grew faster than revenue during the first three months of the year. Profit before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) rose 49.6 percent to €38.8 million (U.S. $49.3 million) from €26.3 million in the first quarter of 2011. Profit before interest and tax increased to €26.3 million (U.S. $33.4 million) from €14.9 million in 1Q11, while the EBIT margin climbed to 9.6 percent. At €17.1 million (U.S. $21.7 million), profit for the period was almost double the prior-year figure of €9.0 million.
“The strong 29-percent increase in Group revenue in Europe for the first three months of 2012 bears testament to the competitiveness of our innovative product portfolio and the efficiency of our organizational structures,” Peksaglam said.
Growth hotspots for the company beyond German-speaking countries were concentrated in France, Denmark, Norway and Poland as well as in South Africa and Russia — both of which are included in the Europe segment. At 34 percent, growth in the Americas region was slightly more pronounced than in Europe. The company’s performance in the U.S. was bolstered by re-fleeting on the part of the rental channel and by its success in further expanding its presence in other target markets such as the energy and industrial sectors. In Q1 2012, the Americas region accounted for 26 percent of total revenue.
To meet rising demand for its products, Wacker Neuson has invested in production capacity for compact equipment. It recently completed the new production facility in Hörsching, near the city of Linz, Austria.
In addition, Asia-Pacific is an important growth market for Wacker Neuson, which has seen demand for high-quality products rise steadily in this region. “We intend to introduce light equipment products tailored to market needs in Asia, thus bringing our high-quality portfolio to an even broader user base also in this region,” said Peksaglam.
Wacker Neuson confirmed its optimistic outlook for 2012, bolstered by continued positive trends in its core markets of Central Europe and the Americas. The executive board reaffirms its forecast for fiscal 2012 as a whole, expecting group revenue to amount to around €1.1 billion (U.S. $1.4 billion), 11-percent higher than fiscal 2011, and the EBITDA margin to reach at least 15 percent.
The Wacker Neuson Group is a leading manufacturer of light and compact equipment with more than 40 affiliates and more than 140 sales and service stations across the globe.