Boom truck and rough terrain crane maker Manitex in the USA announced record financial results for the first quarter of 2012.

At a record US$ 42.8 million, net revenue was 35% up compared to the prior year's quarter of $31.7 million and up 17% on the fourth quarter 2011 figure of $36.6 million. Order backlog, at $133.3 million, was up 179% at the end of March from the same quarter of 2011. It was 59% up on the previous quarter.

Strong demand for boom trucks, particularly from the energy and power line construction sectors, was responsible for about 60% of the increase, Manitex said. For these sectors the higher tonnage and higher reach boom trucks represent the principal product in demand, complemented by more specialized mid-range capacity units. The remaining increase in year over year revenues was generated by Load King trailers, driven by strong end user demand in the energy sector, and the equipment distribution segment due to improved demand for used equipment and rough terrain cranes, Manitex said.

Commenting on the results, David Langevin, chairman and chief executive officer, said, "The momentum in our business that led to record levels of sales, EBITDA, and backlog in 2011 continues to move us forward in 2012. We are executing well according to plan, and our first quarter's results reflect the operating leverage in our model, with the bottom line growing faster than our top line.

"In the first quarter we began to benefit from a planned output expansion that is taking place at our Manitex boom truck operations. We expect to continue to increase output in each quarter during 2012 in response to the robust demand in the niche markets we serve, with particular strength coming from the North American energy field. The growth in our backlog further underscores the health of our business, and speaks well to our strategy of developing products that serve high growth markets."

Looking ahead, Langevin concluded, "With our increasing backlog, output expansion, and strong niche in the North American energy market, we expect our sales and profits to improve steadily throughout 2012. Boom truck bookings are now taking us into 2013 deliveries, which, coupled with our leveraged financial model, should provide us with the opportunity to deliver another year of growth and solid returns for our shareholders next year. Any improvement in the current economic environment with respect to our served markets would naturally add further to our optimism."

The Manitex subsidiary manufactures and markets boom trucks and sign cranes through a national and international dealership network. The boom trucks and cranes are primarily used in industrial projects, energy exploration and infrastructure development, including roads, bridges, and commercial construction.

In addition, Badger Equipment Company, a subsidiary in Winona, Minnesota, manufactures rough terrain cranes and material handling products. Badger primarily serves the needs of the construction, municipality and railroad industries.

Italian subsidiary CVS Ferrari designs and manufactures a range of reach stackers and associated lifting equipment for the global container handling market.

The Manitex Liftking subsidiary offers material handling equipment, including the Noble straight-mast rough terrain forklift line, Lowry high capacity cushion tyred forklifts and Schaeff electric indoor forklifts as well as specialized carriers, heavy material handling transporters and steel mill equipment. Manitex Liftking's rough terrain forklifts are used in commercial and military applications. Subsidiary Manitex Load King in Elk Point, South Dakota, manufactures engineered trailers and hauling systems, typically used for transporting heavy equipment.

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