Crane sales boost Kobelco results

08 May 2008

A “substantial increase” in crane sales for the year to 31 March 2005 helped boost Kobe Steel's construction machinery sales by 12.3 % to Yen 226.8 billion (US$ 2.17 million).

Kobe Steel does not provide a detailed breakdown of crane sales in its annual results - the Kobelco Crane and Kobelco Construction Machinery subsidiaries report their own figures in late May - but the reference to substantial growth suggests that the improvement in the crane business reported in the first half of fiscal 2004 has been sustained in the second half.

The first six months of the year saw Kobelco crane sales increase by 57 %, increasing “considerably” in Europe and “rising sharply” in North America, where sales were helped by the OEM supply agreement with Manitowoc. Total crane sales in 2003 were Yen 24.8 billion ($ 237.1 million) and the full year forecast given last November was for sales of Yen 33.5 billion ($ 320.3 million).

Kobe Steel, which reported overall revenues of Yen 1400 billion ($ 13,4 billion), a rise of 18.4 %, said that sales of all construction equipment - predominantly excavators - were steady in Japan, down in China, and up in Europe, North America, South East Asia and the Middle East.

Kobe's largest business segment, iron and steel, saw sales rise by 18 % to Yen 631 billion ($ 6 billion), with the shortage of steel coupled with high demand from China and the US allowing the company to increase prices worldwide.

The first Liebherr HS 895 HD hydraulic crawler crane with dragline attachment debuted in the US in January. Weber South FL, based in Fort Meyers, Florida, is using the 40000 lb (17.8 kN) dragline class machine with a 7½ cu. yd. (5.7 m3) bucket to excavate blasted lime rock from a 45 ft (14 m) lake in a ten-year project to create a 280-acre (1.32 km2) lake.

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