Cramo expects moderate growth in 2012
By Murray Pollok14 February 2012
Cramo said the economic uncertainty in Europe had not yet impacted on its business and that rental continued to be a growth industry, with outsourcing becoming an attractive option during uncertain times.
However, the company responded to the worsening climate in the second half of 2011 by cutting its capital investment programme and by focusing on profit generation rather than growth.
Cramo reported a 31.8% increase in fourth quarter sales to €192.9 million, with operating profits up 26% to €15.3 million. Revenues for the full year were up 38.2% to €679.9 million - helped by the acquisition of Theisen in Germany at the start of 2011 - with a doubling of operating profits to €54.3 million.
Vesa Koivula, Cramo's chief executive officer, said it had been a challenging year; "Increasing economic uncertainty made it necessary to shift focus from growth to profit protection during H2/2011. We cut our fleet investments and put emphasis on fleet optimisation, in particular between our market areas. We also updated our contingency plans.
Mr Koivula said business visibility was not very clear going forward; "However, rental is expected to remain a growth business".
During the final quarter of the year Cramo made a one-off write-down on goodwill of €5.5 million on its Danish business.
The results show that Cramo's operations in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Hungarian (comprising the Thiesen business acquired in early 2011) had revenues of €71.2 million from February 1 to 31 December 2011. Theisen's full year revenues in 2009 were €88 million.
Cramo's fastest growing business in the fourth quarter was Denmark, where revenues were up by 30%. In Sweden, sales rose by 20%, in Finland by 12%, in Eastern Europe by 23% and in Norway by 6.8%.