ICm20: Ups and downs

09 December 2013

The table shows this year’s ICm20 ranking of the largest crane manufacturers

The table shows this year’s ICm20 ranking of the largest crane manufacturers

Total revenue for the world’s 20 largest crane manufacturers is US$ 28.5 billion in IC’s unique ICm20 ranking by sales revenue. It is a healthy enough increase of just over 5 % on the $ 27. 1 billion posted in 2012. Instead of the clearer picture of a near universal return to growth in last year’s table, however, what characterises things this year is fluctuation by geography.

Liebherr retains its position at the top of the table as the world’s largest crane manufacturer by sales revenue. Growth in its Euro reporting currency, without exchange rate fluctuation, was more than 7 % on the year before. While Liebherr is more than a billion dollars ahead of its nearest rival, the lead is 15 % smaller than it was last year.

Standing out this year are manufacturers with strong links to the USA. That second place company in the table has changed from Cargotec, which held that position for several years, to Terex which is up one place. With an increase of more than 10 % Manitowoc gains two places to 5th. Link-Belt, in particular, has done very well with a two place move up to 14th on the back of a 30.4 % ($ 119 million) rise in sales revenue. Manitex moves up two places to enter the ranking at 20th, with a huge 45 % rise, largely driven by growth in the US energy sector.

The top five companies all posted increases, while the next two, XCMG and Zoomlion from China in 6th and 7th places, respectively, showed lower revenue than the year before. Next in the table, ZPMC, also from China, was up slightly, although Sany, rounding out the top ten was also down but retained its 10th place.

Following the major slowdown in the Chinese economy in 2012 where the domestic manufacturers still make the vast majority of their sales, it is little surprise to see a fall. By number of units, sales of mobile cranes in China in 2012 were down by around 40 %. It was different for dockside crane manufacturer ZPMC, however, maybe because many of its cranes are delivered to ports around the world.

For the last two years Chinese manufacturers took the largest proportion of the revenue total in the ICm20. This year their $ 7.29 billion is around $500,000 down on 2012. Instead of 29 % of the total it is now down slightly to 26 %.

What may appear at first glance as an anomaly in the top 10 was Tadano from Japan. In 9th place for the third year running, its figure in the table is lower than 2012 due to the exchange rate going from JPY 79.00 to the US Dollar last year to JPY 99.00 at the time of writing in November 2013. Net sales, however, were actually up more than JPY 20 billion, partly due to the recovery in Japan and the cleanup operation there following the earthquake. Hitachi Sumitomo was also up, by a more modest 2.5 %, while Kobelco was down 5 %.

Similarly showing what might look like an anomaly but this time to the company’s advantage, was Palfinger in 11th place. It is up an impressive three places from 14th last year where the whole Group’s sales revenue was up more than 10 % from € 526 million in 2011 to € 561 million in 2012. Converting that to US dollars with the exchange rate gain in the last 12 months suggests a larger increase.

Having just edged into the ICm20 last year in 20th place, Favelle Favco this year has moved up two places to 18th with a huge 44 % increase in revenue driven by business from the oil and gas sector. It displaces Furukawa Unic, which has just gone out of the 20 to 21st place.

It should be noted that the percentage change figures related to revenue are in the reporting currencies and not related to the change as shown in the table as the table uses different exchange rates each year – the one prevailing at the time of writing, this year as follows: Euro1 = US$1.35, US$1 = JPY 99, US$ 1 = RMB 6.1, US$ 1 = Malaysian Ringgit 3.2.

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