Kobelco’s sales of construction equipment were up +19% in the fiscal year ending 31 March to JPY 375 billion (US$ 3.67 billion). Combined operating profits for the Kobelco Construction Machinery and Kobelco Cranes divisions almost quadrupled from the previous year to JPY 18.3 billion (US$ 179 million).
The vast majority of the revenues came from the Kobelco Construction Machinery division, which makes excavators. It had revenues of JPY 318 billion (US$ 3.11 billion) last year. Kobelco Cranes meanwhile had sales of JPY 56.6 billion (US$ 554 million).
Commenting on its excavator business last year, a company statement said, “In Japan, in addition to reconstruction demand from the Great East Japan Earthquake, a last-minute surge in demand grew prior to the implementation of stricter exhaust gas emission regulations. In overseas markets, although demand remained sluggish in Southeast Asia, demand in China seemed to have hit bottom, while sales in North America and Europe steadily expanded.”
The company forecasts a further +7% rise in excavator sales this year and a +29% jump in crane sales for total revenues of JPY 413 billion (US$ 4.04 billion), which would equate to a +10% rise on overall construction equipment revenues this year.
Whereas the growth in excavator sales this year is expected to be limited by further declines in Southeast Asia, crane sales are expected to see broad growth both domestically and on overseas markets.