Manitou expects lowpoint in 4th quarter as sales fall 47%

By Murray Pollok27 October 2009

Manitou said its business continued to decrease in the third quarter but less rapidly than at the beginning of the year and predicted its sales would reach a low point in the final quarter of the year.

Revenues for the third quarter were down 47% to €146.7 million, with sales in France and Europe down 52%, in North America down 43% and 42% lower in the rest of the world. The company's financial press release provided no information on profitability or on the relative performances of its material handling (mainly telehandlers) and aerial platform products.

Manitou said sales continued to reduce in particular because of falls in demand from its agricultural markets, with construction in Europe now stabilised and de-stocking of inventories in the region now complete.

In North America, sales were €18.0 million in the three months with revenues from subsidiary Gehl representing less than a third of this; "confirming the ongoing de-stocking process at the dealer network level", said the company.

The French manufacturer's president and chief executive officer, Jean-Christophe Giroux, said; "For the first time in 2009, the order book represents more than three months of sales, and it looks like we'll be reaching a low point somewhere in Q4."

Manitou said it expected third quarter sales levels to continue in the final three months of 2009, with annual sales 50% down on 2009. The company has reduced its staffing levels by 35% in the first nine months of the year (measured in equivalent full-time posts).

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