Revenues at Kobelco Cranes were up 47% in the first quarter of the fiscal year starting April 1, to JPY 16.9 billion (US$ 164 million). The division’s pre-tax profit was JPY 1.7 billion (US$ 16.5 million), almost double the figure of JPY 800 million (US$ 7.8 million) a year ago.

The company said demand was strong across all regions it serves, adding that its domestic Japanese market was given a boost by increasing public investments, among other factors.

This high growth in the first quarter has led the parent company, Kobe Steel, to increase its revenue and profit forecasts for Kobelco Cranes for the full fiscal year. It now expects revenues of JPY 76 billion (US$ 740 million), compared to the previous forecast of JPY 73 billion (US$ 710 million) and 2013’s actual figure of JPY 56.6 billion (US$ 551 million). If this forecast proves accurate, that would represent a +34% increase in revenues.

Pre-tax profits are now expected to come in at JPY 4 billion (US$ 39 million), compared to the previous forecast of JPY 3.5 million (US$ 34 million) and 2013’s figure of JPY 3.2 million (US$ 31 million). Although this would represent a +25% increase in profits, the division’s margin would be weaker. Last year pre-tax profits as a percentage of revenues was 5.6%. The latest forecast puts this ratio at 5.3%.

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