Poor weather hits Ramirent first quarter results

By Murray Pollok06 May 2010

Poor weather impacted on Ramirent's first quarter sales, which fell by 8.7% to €111.5 million, although on a constant currency basis the fall was 14.2%. The company made a net loss of €5.3 million in the three months, with EBITDA of €17.5 million, down 42% on the same quarter in 2009.

Ramirent's sales in Finland and Norway were stable, but revenues were down 8.2% in Sweden and considerably more in Denmark (-28%), Europe East (-20%) and Europe central (-14%).

Magnus Rosén, chief executive officer of Ramirent, said; "The first quarter is generally the weakest quarter of the year due to the seasonal nature of our activities. This year the first quarter was further burdened by exceptionally cold winter conditions coupled with an overall slow market affecting our operations negatively in all Ramirent countries."

"Towards the end of the quarter, signs of improving demand in certain product groups were visible in the Nordic region and in Russia.

"Still, we expect 2010 to remain challenging as harsh winter conditions have delayed the start of the high season. Near-term priorities, therefore, continue to be safeguarding profitability, right-sizing the fleet and cash flow."

Mr Rosén said Ramirent remained in a good position to take advantage of improving market conditions; "We are shifting priority to top-line development by capturing opportunities in the market, both outsourcing cases and acquisitions, as well as through organic growth. In addition, we maintain high priority on price discipline, and we expect pricing conditions to improve as demand returns.

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