Manitou first half sales up 8.3%

By Murray Pollok06 September 2010

Manitou's revenues grew by 8.3% in the first half of the year to €387.1 million, with a 42% "rebound" in sales of skid steer loaders at its Gehl business in the US leading the figures.

Manitou's rough terrain handling division saw revenues up 9% to €274 million, while the compact equipment division (Gehl), saw sales increase from €38 million to €54 million (from historically low levels in 2009). "This came exclusively from skid loaders", said Manitou, "with telehandlers still at a standstill with US rental customers."

Overall, the company reduced its net losses from €93.8 million in the first half of 2009 to €14.3 million in the first six months of this year. Despite the increase in skid steer loaders, the Gehl business posted operating losses of €13 million, reflecting "a very depressed environment in the US."

Jean-Christophe Giroux, Manitou president and chief executive officer, said: "The strong business swing over the last six months reflects favourably in our H1 earnings, and pulled us up towards break-even earlier than expected..."

"The challenge is now to further improve our profile, finding ways to reconcile erratic end demand levels and highly-congested components supplies. As the environment still fails to clear up, and possibly for quite some time, we believe the key to profitable growth will be in new models for operational efficiency."

The company is expecting total 2010 revenues to be 10-15% higher than 2009.

Meanwhile, Manitou said Gehl was finalising a strtegic financing programme with De Lage Landen Financial Services (DDL), with DLL acting as preferred partner for sales financil in North America,

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