Manitou CEO Michel Denis.

Manitou CEO Michel Denis.

French materials handling equipment manufacturer Manitou reported a 6% year-on-year growth in revenues for the six months ending 30 June, despite continuing problems in its own country.

Manitou’s financial results statement said that sales in France decreased significantly because of the country’s weak construction sector. Russia was also down heavily as a result of its ongoing political and economic situation, but Northern Europe and North America continued to grow. The Americas division in total was 33% up after posting a 16% increase in the second quarter, and Northern Europe was up by 7%.

Total sales were €681 million, compared to €642 million in 2014, comprising €427 million for the materials handling division, €145 million for compact equipment and €110 million from services and solutions.

The major growth was in the compact equipment division, which rose 26% for the half-year and 16% for the second quarter.

There was increased activity in rental companies in the construction sector outside France, and the company said the agricultural sector had stabilised after recent tensions. Manitou said it expected the 6% annual growth rate to hold up for the rest of 2015.

CEO Michel Denis said: “The strengthened financial performance of the first half-year period confirms the previously communicated improvement.

“The second half year period began with a slightly reduced order backlog. In France, the impact of recent tensions in the agricultural sector could slow the recovery of that market, whereas tax incentives which promote investments in handling equipment should result in an increase in business.”

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