Cramo president and CEO Vesa Koivula described the group’s financial results for the first quarter of 2015 as “promising” after a year on year rise in sales of 4.8% and overall profit of €3.9 million.
With EBITDA up by €5.8 million and the sales margin up from 3.1% to 6.9%, Mr Koivula said: “It is particularly encouraging to witness the strong profit development in Sweden and the turn of the Danish operations to profit. In Norway, we also managed to improve our profitability, thanks to cost savings implemented last year. In Central Europe, fleet utilisation rates improved year on year.
Mr Koivula added: “National economies in Europe are taking an upward turn, but growth will still be modest in many countries. The decline in oil prices is expected to have a positive impact on economic development, with the exception of Norway and Russia. The greatest uncertainties are related to the geopolitical solution and for Cramo, this relates to the Ukrainian crisis and the overall economic situation in Russia.”
In terms of products, equipment rental rose by just over 2%, but in the longer term Cramo expects it grow faster than sales to the construction industry.
“Changes in demand usually follow those in construction with a delay,” said Mr Koivula. “In addition to construction, the demand for equipment rental services is affected by industrial investments and the rental penetration rate.
“The European Rental Association expects equipment rental services to increase in all Cramo’s main markets in 2015, and the growth is expected to strengthen compared to 2014.”
Mr Koivula added that based on research by construction industry analyst Euroconstruct, activity would increase in all the company’s markets except Estonia, Latvia and Russia.