Slow economic growth in Ramirent’s main markets and a weaker than expected recovery in the Nordic construction sector impacted rental demand in 2014, resulting in the Finnish rental company recording lower revenues and income for the year.
Net sales dropped 5.2% year-on-year to €614 million, while profit for the period stood at €32.6 million, a decline of 40% compared to 2013. Ramirent’s gross capital expenditure for the 12 months to the end of 2014 was €145 million, up 15% year-on-year.
CEO Magnus Rosén said increased geopolitical uncertainty and slow economic growth in the company’s main markets, combined with the rapid decline in oil price, hit results in the fourth quarter, while full-year figures had also felt the impact of sluggish growth.
“In the Nordic countries, we saw growth in Sweden, while the demand picture remained weak in Finland reflecting the increased geopolitical uncertainty, " he said.
"The rapid decline in oil prices led to cautiousness in new investments in the Norwegian oil and gas sector and wider economy.
“In Denmark our performance was burdened by internal restructuring measures. In Europe East, our business grew rapidly in the Baltic countries while high political and macroeconomic uncertainty continued in Fortrent markets in Russia and Ukraine.
"In Central Europe, market activity increased in Poland and demand started to pick up towards the end of the year in the Czech Republic and Slovakia.”
Looking ahead, Mr Rosén said Ramirent expected the market picture in 2015 to remain mixed, with challenging market conditions in especially Finland and Norway.
“We expect full-year 2015 net sales and EBITA margin to be similar to the level of 2014 when measured in local currencies,” he added.