Wacker Reports First Quarter 7.3-Percent Sales Growth

Wacker Construction Equipment AG sales rose 7.3 percent in its fiscal first quarter of 2007 to EUR 160.4 million (about U.S. $215.7 million), an organic growth rate of 7.1 percent. Adjusted to discount exchange rate fluctuations, sales were up 11.9 percent. EBITDA rose 4.4 percent to EUR $24.5 million (about U.S. $33 million).

“The issue price of EUR 22.00 and the initial stock exchange price of EUR 24.60 exceeded all of our expectations,” said Wacker CEO and president Dr. Georg Sick. “We’re delighted to see that rental revenue in Central and Eastern Europe has almost doubled relative to the same quarter last year.”

Sick expressed particular satisfaction with Wacker’s results at the Bauma Trade Fair in Germany in April. “The world’s largest trade fair, Bauma 2007, provided compelling proof of the high demand for our products and services,” he said. “Orders placed at the exhibition were up 46 percent on Bauma 2004.”

Wacker officials said the company plans to proceed with the merger with Neuson Kramer Baumaschinen this summer, following approval from the German and Austrian anti-trust authorities, which will create a major global player in the light and compact equipment market. Under the name of Wacker Neuson AG, the new company plans to capitalize in particular on market opportunities in the compact equipment segment in the United States, Europe and Asia.

Wacker officials said Wacker’s first-quarter growth was fueled by strong growth in the construction industries in China, Russia, India, Europe and South Asia. Although the United States suffered a drop in private residential construction, non-residential construction is experiencing an upturn. Sales in Europe grew 20 percent to EUR 103.8 million, while sales in the Americas dropped 9.6 percent to EUR 51.9 million.

Wacker Group construction work is proceeding on schedule, the company said, with work on the new production plant in Manila, and the European training center in Reichertshofen, Germany, should be complete in the late summer or fall, as will a new manufacturing plant in Korbach, Germany.

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