Manitou to intensify 'rightsizing' measures

By Murray Pollok29 January 2009

Manitou said it will intensify its ‘rightsizing' measures to reduce production capacity and cut costs in the face of the economic downturn which it forecast will result in a "significant" fall in sales for the first quarter of 2009.

Announcing almost level revenues of €1258 million in 2008 - compared to €1260 million in 2007 - the company said it had experienced a sharp downturn in order intake in the last few weeks of 2008.

"Given the unstable economic outlook and poor visibility offered by its activities over 2009, the Group will intensify the rightsizing measures initiated last summer aimed at scaling back production capacity and reducing structural costs", said Manitou.

Manitou had an extended shutdown of its production facilities over the Christmas period and previously told IRN that it would have further temporary plant closures during January.

The results for 2008, which include a two-month contribution from newly acquired Gehl, included a negative impact of €24.3 million resulting from exchange rate changes. Sales actually grew by 1.8% with this effect stripped out.

Over the year, a 7% rise in sales in France and good performances in most other European Union countries made up for a 75% fall in sales in Spain and a 30% fall in UK. These two countries were Manitou's two largest export markets in 2007, accounting for a fifth of all sales.

Manitou's sales in the US declined by 5% over the year, while Gehl's sales in the final two months of the year were down 22%. Sales in the rest of the world were up 25%.

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