First quarter revenue at Manitou Group fell by 25% to €421m, compared to the first quarter in 2019, as a result of the impact of Covid-19.
In the Material Handling & Access (MHA) division sales revenue for the first quarter of its 2020 financial year stood at €283m, a 29% decrease compared with the same period in 2019. “Under the combined effect of the wait-and-see attitude of rentals who had not yet ordered by the end of 2019 and the Covid-19 crisis, the division’s business was down sharply in the quarter,” said the manufacturer.
The Compact Equipment Products (CEP) division posted sales revenues of €64m, a decrease of 24%. The beginning of the current fiscal year had showed an acceleration in demand, said Manitou, particularly from American rental companies, before this was stopped by the Covid-19 crisis.
The Services & Solutions (S&S) division saw an 8% decrease in its revenue, at €74m. The division was able to maintain a reduced level activity throughout the period of heavy restrictions, enabling it to limit the impact of the pandemic.
Looking at regional impact, group-wide revenue fell by 29% in Southern Europe, 27% in Northern Europe, 14% in the Americas and 22% in the APAM region during the first quarter period. The company’s order book for equipment at the end the first quarter was €648 million, compared to €884 million at the same time last year.
Michel Denis, president and chief executive officer, said, “First quarter business was suddenly interrupted by the globalisation of the Covid-19 crisis, which massively affected the construction sector and, to a lesser extent, the industry. Agricultural demands and service activities remain less impacted due to the greater resilience of these sectors.
The Covid-19 crisis led the group to shut down production activities in France, Italy and then India in mid-March, while maintaining, where legislation allowed, the marketing of spare parts and service, as well as the core functions to support its activities. After securing the health and safety of the sites, the French and Italian industrial operations were very gradually reactivated in mid-April.
Denis continued, “After reorganising working methods and working hours within organizations, the group has focused its efforts on protecting the safety of its employees and sustaining service to its customers. The gradual reopening of operations initiated in mid-April will take time before full fluidity and efficiency are restored. It will remain sensitive to the restarting of the entire supply chain. The first feedback to date is encouraging, which is essential for the group to be able to adapt to the seasonality of its markets.
“The evolution of the health crisis and its economic impacts are still difficult to measure and do not make it possible to estimate the level of activity for the year at this stage.
All of the group’s teams are mobilising to support our customers while adapting to new working methods. The year will certainly be very difficult, but I am convinced that the women and men of Manitou will enable the group, thanks to their commitment and responsiveness, to overcome this crisis.”