Germany-based compact equipment manufacturer Wacker Neuson said it was positive about the rest of this year after posting what it called stable 2016 revenue in challenging market conditions.

Turnover for last year was €1.36 billion (US$1.46 billion), down 1% on 2015, or 0.3% when adjusted for currency effects.

However, the company expects 2017 revenue to grow by 3 to 7% to between €1.4 billion and €1.45 billion ($1.5 billion and $1.56 billion), reflecting investment in Europe, China and Brazil.

Profit was negatively affected by crises in emerging markets and industries as well as a number of one-off effects. Profit before interest and tax (EBIT) fell by 15% to €88.1 million ($94.6 million), and the EBIT margin dropped from 7.5% to 6.5%. Group profit was down to €56.8 million ($61 million).

“We were unable to escape the difficulties in our markets,” said CEO Cem Peksaglam.

“Our business in North America was particularly hard hit with revenue from light equipment in the region contracting in 2016. In addition to this, demand for compact equipment in the European agricultural sector was weak.

“Our core region of Europe was our revenue driver in 2016 and we broke the billion-euro revenue threshold for the first time here. This enabled us to keep overall revenue at the same level as the previous year,” he added.

“We are optimistic about 2017 because customer confidence has increased overall. We believe that key markets such as North America will start to develop much more positively for us.

“Our markets are without doubt cyclical and we are used to peaks and troughs. After a challenging past 18 months, we expect 2017 to be a year of growth for us. Our order books are very healthy.”

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