Ramirent restructures in Central Europe as growth continues elsewhere

By Murray Pollok10 May 2012

Ramirent said recovery in all of its markets continued in the first quarter of the year with the exception of its Europe Central area, which covers Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia.

The company said overall visibility on its markets remained low and for that reason it would remain cautious on capital expenditure and focused on controlling costs. It has not changed its 2012 outlook of improved revenues and profitability.

Sales in Europe Central - representing less than 10% of the total - fell by 7.9% to €13.3 million and the operation made an EBIT loss of €2.1 million "burdened by lower prices and utilisation rates compared to last year". Ramirent said it was now restructuring the Europe Central business.

Elsewhere Ramirent reported continued high growth levels, with overall sales up 22.3% to €164.3 million, and like-for-like growth of 12.4%. EBITDA profits were up almost 52% to €41.9 million.

The businesses in Finland, Norway and Europe East (Russia, Baltic States, Ukraine) all saw revenue increases of more than 25% year-on-year, while increases in Sweden and Denmark were more modest at 16.6% and 17.3%, respectively.

Finland and Norway both reported jumps in EBIT profits, while the businesses in Denmark and Europe East both reached almost break-even points in EBIT after making significant losses in the same quarter in 2011.

Magnus Rosén, Ramirent's CEO, said; "While the year started strongly, there are still major uncertainties relating to general growth prospects in the economy, and these uncertainties may adversely affect the demand for rental products and services in the second half of the year. Due to the prevailing state of the markets, the visibility is low.

"We continue to carefully monitor the development of our market environment and maintain a high preparedness to act upon possible changes in market conditions. Our priority during 2012 is to be cautious in capital expenditure spending, to have a strict cost control and to maintain a strong balance sheet."

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