Finnish rental company Ramirent has reported positive nine month revenue growth despite seeing some third quarter weakness in Sweden and Norway.

Net sales for the nine months between January and September grew 2.7% year-on-year to €453 million, while net profit dropped 22% to €14.4 million.

CEO Magnus Rosén said,The positive top line development that was observed at the end of the second quarter did not fully materialise in the third quarter, with weaker than expected performance in both Sweden and Norway.

“Combined with higher material and services costs and slower than expected realisation of the efficiency programme, our third–quarter EBITA was €24.8 million.” This compared with €28 million for the third quarter of 2014.

Mr Rosén added, “In the third quarter, it was particularly satisfying that despite challenging market conditions in the Finnish equipment rental market, our sales grew and profitability improved in Finland. Profitability strengthened clearly in Denmark where our restructuring measures combined with the improving underlying demand are producing better results.

“In Europe Central, our profitability continued to improve supported by successful implementation of efficiency actions, internal reorganisation and higher rental prices compared to the previous year. In Baltics, demand for equipment rental was stable.

“In Sweden, the net sales growth was slightly lower than expected despite a strong market, with profitability being below previous year due to a higher share of service sales and internal restructuring. In Norway, slow underlying demand in the building construction sector and uncertainty in the oil and gas sector, resulted in lower sales and profitability. Corrective actions have been taken to improve profitability both in Sweden and Norway.”

The company said it expected the full-year picture to remain mixed, with challenging market conditions especially in Finland and Norway. It said full-year 2015 revenues and EBITA margin were expected to be similar to the level of 2014 when measured in local currencies.

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