Manitou revenues up 43% but faces growth pains

By Murray Pollok27 October 2010

Manitou's results continue to improve - with revenues up 43% to €208 million for the third quarter of 2010 - but the company said it was now facing a growing backlog for telehandlers partly because of problems in meeting the new European EN15000 standard on load limiters.

The company now has a backlog of 3013 rough terrain handlers, with the new European EN15000 standard - which requires the fitting of longitudinal load moment limiters on all telehandlers from September this year - creating a problem.

Jean-Christophe Giroux, Manitou president and chief executive officer, said; "The new EN15000 regulation came in at the wrong moment for us and certain suppliers, and we've had a couple of bad swings in our manufacturing schedule."

Mr Giroux said despite that, the third quarter had been a good one for the company; "especially compared to last year's all-time low." The company is now operating at 50% of its 2006-7 volumes; "growth feels both good and painful. But we keep progressing on our way up every day."

The company said it is on target to post 2010 revenues up 15% on 2009 and that it would be close to break-even on operating profits for the second half of 2010.

Sales of rough terrain telehandlers rose by 40% €143.7 million for the quarter, year on year, while sales of compact equipment (primarily Gehl machines) increased by 84% to €35.2 million. Sales of industrial material handling equipment were up 15% to €29.2 million.

The company has also sorted out its financing difficulties, with enhanced French credit agreements that have allowed it to repay in full its US-based facility, and the customer financing arrangement in North America with De Lage Landen (DLL).

"We're glad we have turned the page on financial difficulties", said Mr Giroux, "and to be back to operational questions."

Geographically, Manitou's best performing region was the Americas, where sales increased by 76% to €31.8 million in the third quarter. Sales to France were up 27% to €60.8 million and in the rest of Europe by 38% to €88.6 million. Sales to the rest of the world increased by 63% to €26.9 million.

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