Haulotte commits to R&D after 61% fall in 1st quarter

By Maria Hadlow22 April 2009

Alexandre Saubot presented Haulotte’s first quarter figures at Intermat today (22 April). Despite a 61% drop in turnover from last year, Haulotte is going ahead with the launch of a number of new products and, said Mr Saubot, continuing with investment in research and development.

First quarter turnover was €49.8 million, compared to €126.2 million for the first quarter of 2008.

Equipment sales were down over 50% said Mr Saubot, with Haulotte’s rental businesses being less dramatically hit with turnover falling 10%. Business in Western Europe fell 71%, but markets around the rest of the world showed a 17% growth.

North America was badly hit and Eastern Europe has been adversely affected by currency fluctuations and rising interest rates. South America showed 40% growth and Asia was up 35% with the BilJax business contributing €6 million to the company’s turnover.

Mr Saubot reported that reducing production in the first half of the year would help keep inventory levels stable and at an acceptable level. He gave assurance that no production facilities would be closed.

Of the market Mr Saubot said that it was weak, but not zero, “I would refer and hope that it [the recession] will only last a year,” he said. “There is no visibility but everyone is confident that it will be better next year, but no one knows when.”

Mr Saubot says that the he had proved the value of having a flexible business model: “ At the end of the crisis we [Haulotte] will still be here - normally not everyone survives.”

To read about Haulotte’s new machines see AI's story: “Haulotte launches niche products”.

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