US-based construction equipment manufacturer Astec Industries reported first half revenues of US$ 496 million, up from US$ 490 million a year ago. Operating income was up +13% year-on-year, compared to US$ 24.3 million for the six months to the end of June, 2012.

Domestic revenues increased +5% to US$ 324 million, while international revenues slipped -5% to US$ 172 million compared to the first half of 2012. The domestic backlog stood at US$ 140 million at 30 June, 2013, down -5% compared to the same point last year. The international backlog fell -7% to US$ 100 million.

Astec – which sold its American Augers business and Trencor large trencher product line to Ditch Witch, was well as its utility trencher and drill lines to Toro last year – reported a total backlog of US$ 241 million, down -6% year-on-year.

Chairman and CEO Dr Don Brock said, “Many areas of the central and eastern US have experienced historically high rainfall, delaying construction work. This has also delayed many of our shipments. However, on a positive note, customers are seeing a slight pickup in residential and commercial work.

“With the delayed work for the first half of the year we expect to see their business much stronger in the second half. Hopefully this will improve demand during the fourth quarter and into next year. Unfortunately, we see the near term orders being down slightly with a pickup in demand in the fourth quarter. We are continuing to reduce expenses in anticipation of this."

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