Flat access sales in Manitou's first quarter

By Maria Hadlow09 May 2008

Despite an overall, first quarter sales growth of 7.4%, Manitou reported "flat sales" for access platforms.

While overall sales in the company's home market of France grew 12.3%, from €126.4 million to €142 million, over the first quarter of last year, sales in other European Union countries remained fairly stable, growing only 0.7% to €166 million. In other regions growth increased from €40.7million to €48 million (19.2%).

Among the factors negatively affecting Manitou's first quarter is the exchange rate of the Euro and the expected drop in sales of equipment in Southern Europe, particularly Spain.

The slackening of order intake in March and the foreign exchange rate trends has led Manitou to revise its sales forecast for 2008 and now expects growth to be between 8 and 10%.

The company predicts that, if the financial and economic situation does not change, the strong depreciation of the pound sterling and the rising prices of raw materials (mostly steel and oil derivatives), combined with the difficulty of rapidly increasing prices to cover those costs may lead to a net profit fall of 10%.

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