Kobelco’s sales of construction equipment for the first half of the fiscal year were up +9.1% to JPY 206 billion (US$ 2.0 billion). Ordinary income from its sales of excavators and cranes was up +63% to JPY 19.2 billion (US$ 186 million), for a margin of 9.5%, compared to 6.3% a year ago.
Kobelco’s biggest construction equipment business is Kobelco Construction Machinery, which makes excavators. It saw sales rise +4.1% in the first half of the year, compared to the same period in 2013, to JPY 170 billion (US$ 1.65 billion). There was a much steeper rise at the smaller Kobelco Cranes business, where revenues were up +59% to JPY 35.8 billion (US$ 348 million).
The company said that unit sales of excavators were in fact down this year compared to the same period last year, citing stricter emissions laws in Japan and a rise in consumption tax last year, which led to a surge in demand. This fall in the domestic market offset higher sales in China, Europe and North America. However, greater revenues were achieved because of the weaker Japanese yen boosting revenues in export markets, along with a more favourable product mix – larger machines being sold.
As well as greater revenues, Kobelco Cranes saw increased unit sales in the first half, with revenues rising +41% to JPY 16.1 billion (US$ 156 million). The company said sales were up in Japan thanks to higher public investment, while demand in Asia and other parts of the world was also good.
This drove a surge in ordinary income for the division, which was up +82% to JPY 3.1 billion (US$ 30 million).