Ramirent to sell Hungarian business

By Murray Pollok08 August 2013

Ramirent is to sell its Hungarian rental business to private equity company Danube SCA Sicar for an undisclosed price. The operation is forecast to have sales of €7 million this year and employs 83 people at 13 locations.

The announcement came as Ramirent reported flat like-for-like revenues in the second quarter, with pre-tax profits down 23.7% to €15.2 million.

Ramirent’s CEO, Magnus Rosén, said the sale of the Hungarian business was in line with the strategy “to strengthen its strategic focus on higher growth opportunities in Ramirent’s core markets in the Baltic Sea region.”

Ramirent told IRN that it had no plans at the moment to sell its Czech or Slovakian operations.

The company made a greenfield entry into Hungary in 2003 supplemented by the acquisitions of Gepbazis in the same year and then Agentrade-Plusz in 2005. Hungary is one of four countries in Ramirent’s Europe East territory along with Poland, Slovakia and Czech Republic.

Meanwhile, Ramirent’s sales in the second quarter of the year were €160.8 million, down 5.3% on the previous year, although only 0.7% down after accounting for the transfer of the Russian and Ukraine businesses to new joint venture company Fortrent.

Ramirent said the Nordic market remained at a fairly good level, with the exception of Finland, where activity has weakened compared to the previous year. In Europe Central market conditions remained weak and the company is downscaling the operation to fit the level of demand. Demand in Europe East - comprising the three Baltic States – was stable.

Mr Rosén said; “The slow start of the year continued into the beginning of the second quarter due to cold spring weather…Overall, market development is mixed.”

He said there was still uncertainty over the short-term outlook; “we maintain high readiness to manage changes in market conditions. Our focus is on operating on cautious capital expenditure, strict cost control and on maintaining a strong balance sheet.”

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