Manitou’s sales fell 3% to €312 million in the first quarter of its 2016 financial year, compared to the same period in 2015.

Order intake, however, was on the increase in the quarter, amounting to €307 million and representing a 9% rise. Order backlog stood at €347 million, 5% up on the first quarter 2015 and 16% compared to the fourth quarter of 2014.

Michel Denis, president & CEO said, “Business in the first quarter was in line with our objective for 2016. The slight decrease in sales revenue compared to Q1 2015 is not representative of the fundamentally improved trend that we're reporting in our order intake and backlog.

“Europe, which accounts for two thirds of the group's business, is doing well. It's now driven by its southern region, within which, France is also stimulated by the effects of the Macron law. The Americas region recorded the largest decrease which was the consequence of US rental companies full stop since the third quarter 2015, although they’ve recently made a modest comeback. Therefore, we're confirming all of our objectives set for 2016.”

Across the group sales in Southern Europe grew 49% to €132.1 million, while sales in Northern Europe dropped 14% to 99.3 million. Business was hit hardest in the Americas, with a 38% sales drop to 54.1 million.

Looking at the individual segments; the Material Handling and Access Division (MHA) saw first quarter sales of €217 million, an increase of 9% compared to the first quarter of 2015. In Europe, the construction, agriculture and industrial markets remain dynamic, said the company, with increases in Southern Europe.

The Compact Equipment Products Division (CEP) reported sales of €41 million, a 42% decline on the first quarter 2015 and a 9% decrease compared to 2015’s fourth quarter. “Following several years of strong growth, the market for rental companies has abruptly stopped since the third quarter 2015,” said the company in its financial statement.

The Services and Solutions Division (S&S) sales increased 2% at €54 million. The division continues to work on the launch of new services focused on the users.

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