Haulotte sales down 30% in 2008

Alexandre Saubot, Haulotte's chief operating officer.

Alexandre Saubot, Haulotte's chief operating officer.

Haulotte's sales in 2008 fell by 30.4% to €450.8 million, with revenues in the second half of the year impacted by the economic slowdown and reduced availability of credit.

Net profit for the year was €31.9 million - down 55% - although this figure includes a one-off gain of €30 million on the sale last year of its French rental business.

The company said market uncertaintly made it impossible to provide a full-year forecast for 2009. However, speaking to AI at the Rental Show in Atlanta on 4 March, Haulotte's chief operating officer, Alexandre Saubot, said that the total access market could fall by 50% in 2009.

Haulotte has reduced its production by 50% over the past 12 months, said Mr Saubot, and still has an inventory of between 3000 and 5000 units in Europe.

Haulotte said, "In this uncertain environment, the Group is focusing on reducing working capital requirement and effectively containing fixed costs. The flexibility of our economic model should enable us to effectively navigate the current market turmoil."

As of 31 December Haulotte had drawn down €180 million of an available €360 million loan and had met all its obligations. The company is in discussions with its bankers to anticipate the affects of potentially weaker sales in 2009.

Meanwhile, Haulotte displayed the first of its electric scissors to be built in the US at the Rental Show in the US last week. See the April issue of Access International for a full report.

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