In the first quarter of 2016, Austrian manufacturer Palfinger recorded revenues of €318.8 million (US $361.8 million) up 9.1 per cent compared to the €292.3 million ($ 331.7 million) in the same period a year ago.

Earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) showed an increase of 28.6 % from €23.5 million ($26.6 million) to €30.2 million ($34.2 million), which is also a new record for a first quarter result, the company said.

This, in turn, generated a marked increase in the EBIT margin, which came to 9.5 %, compared to 8.0 % in the first quarter of the previous year.

Herbert Ortner, Palfinger CEO, said, “We have managed to continue our growth. The primary reason for the increase in revenue and earnings was that demand in Europe remained strong. Given the present situation, we think chances are good that our growth will continue over the rest of the year.”

For loader cranes, Palfinger increased sales and revenue in the first quarter of 2016. Growth, which in some cases was substantial, was recorded primarily in Sweden, Finland, Ireland, the Czech Republic, Poland, Germany, France, Belgium and Austria as well as in Australia, the company said.

In contrast, revenue declined in South Africa, Denmark and Norway. Demand returned to the southern countries of Europe, where markets had been weak since the financial crisis. In Italy and Spain, Palfinger increased revenue by nearly 70 %.

Access platforms also saw significant growth in revenue and new orders. The constantly good capacity utilisation at the production units during the first quarter of 2016 resulted in a high level of profitability. Manufacturing for third parties was expanded.

The marine business was affected by the oil and gas industry’s low propensity to invest with the falling oil price. As a result revenue in the first quarter of 2016 was 13.6 % lower than in the same quarter of 2015.

The management continues to expect a growth in revenue of approximately 10 % for 2016. The company also sees potential to increase the annual revenue, including the joint venture companies in China and Russia, to approximately €1.8 billion ($2.1 billion) by 2017 through acquisitions and completing its product portfolio.

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