Finnish rental company Ramirent reported its half-year financial results as in line with expectations, but said the domestic market will remain challenging for the rest of the year increased 5% year-on-year to €159.4 million, with the half-year total up 3.7% at €300 million.

"Overall the second quarter developed according to our expectations, said CEO Magnus Rosén.

"Second quarter sales grew in all segments except for Norway."

“Sales growth accelerated in Sweden supported by high overall construction activity and our profitability improved as the large solution projects advanced. In Denmark, our activity levels picked up and cost reduction measures started to show results. In Central Europe, net sales picked up owing to an increase in construction of roads, industrial buildings and especially in Poland power plants. In the Baltic countries, we saw continued strong performance supported by a healthy construction activity.

“In Norway, on the other hand, our performance weakened compared to the previous year due to lower demand in residential construction as well as softness in the oil and gas sector. Demand in the Finnish market continued to be sluggish, except for Southern Finland where growth was supported by ongoing construction projects.

“As demand started to accelerate towards the end of the quarter, we expect overall demand to continue improving in the second half of the year in Sweden, Denmark, Europe East and Europe Central, whilst we expect challenging market conditions to prevail in Finland and Norway.”

In terms of the outlook for the rest of 2015, Ramirent said markets would be favourable in Sweden, balanced in Denmark, modest in Russia and challenging in Norway and Finland.

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