Palfinger first three quarters up by 20%

By Alex Dahm10 November 2008

The new Palfinger PK 50002-EH

The new Palfinger PK 50002-EH

For the first three quarters of 2008 Palfinger recorded double-digit revenue growth but rates were lower than previous periods.

Revenue for the first three quarters of 2008 at the Austria-based loader crane manufacturer was Euro 607.2 million, an increase of 20.3% compared to Euro 504.6 million for the same period of 2007.

Revenue in the third quarter, however, was lower than in each of the first two quarters of 2008: Q1 Euro 208.9 million; Q2 Euro 214.5 million; Q3 Euro 183.7 million. Acquisitions raised Q3 2008 by Euro 19.7 million compared to the third quarter 2007.

"The uncertain economic situation prevailing in many of our core markets is a great challenge for Palfinger, especially because its ramifications cannot be predicted right now. But at the same time we also see numerous opportunities for the months to come and the year 2009. We are in an excellent position in terms of regions, products, and finances and enjoy the reputation of being a reliable business partner. This is a valuable guarantee for our customers. Our sound financial basis also allows us to actively participate in the consolidation process already underway. Consequently, in the past twelve months we have successfully concluded three major acquisitions which have contributed to our international growth and solidification of our market position", said Herbert Ortner, Palfinger CEO.

The strong business in the first half 2008 was largely due to order backlog and inorganic growth achieved through acquisitions in 2008. In the third quarter a "noticeable decline in market demand and the current reduction of the order backlog made it possible to shorten delivery times significantly," the manufacturer said.

In anticipation of a further slowdown "capacity adjustments" have been made. In terms of workforce, these were achieved by flexible working time models and a reduction in the number of temporary personnel.

Performance varied widely in terms of markets. Spain, the UK and Italy suffered severe market declines, offset by the development of the markets in Germany, France and Eastern European countries. The North American market was more stable than expected, the manufacturer said. Palfinger expanded its market position with the acquisition of truck body specialist Omaha Standard. South America developed into Palfinger's second most important region after Europe.

Palfinger management still expects double-digit revenue growth for 2008, largely due to acquisitions. In the crane business Palfinger forecasts that the results will fall short of those for 2007.

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