Cramo sees first quarter fall and expects decline to continue

By Patrick Hill06 May 2009

First quarter sales for Cramo were €106.9 million, down 15.7% from the €126.7 million in the same period in 2008. Measured in local currencies, the decline was 6.7%.

Cramo said it expects further declines in the business environment in 2009, led by a continued fall in construction activity. Sales and EBITA margin will decline from those in 2008, but cash flow after investments will remain positive.

The company said the recession in construction "in all market areas" reduced demand in the quarter, with the largest sales declines in Central and Eastern Europe. Sales in Finland, Sweden and Denmark also declined, but revenues rose 11.8% (in the local currency) in Norway, where Cramo recently expanded its depot network.

Contributing to the positive total EBITA of €1.5 million in the period (down 91.5% from €17.4 million in the first quarter last year) were the modular space segment and operations in Sweden, Finland and Norway. Cramo said long-term rental agreements for modular space helped stabilise its business.

The Finnish company said it will reduce headcount, reported at 2594 on 31 March, by more than 20% in 2009. Cramo said it would make cost savings of €30 million this year.

Cramo said no major investments are needed this year, and gross capital expenditure in 2009 will be approximately €30-40 million, mainly for modular space.

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