Compact and light equipment manufacturer Wacker Neuson has reported a strong first quarter, boosted by an early start to the European construction season and continued economic improvement in the region.
Revenues were up 13% year-on-year to €292 million – a new first quarter record, according to the company – while earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) jumped 46% to €36.2 million
Net profit totaled €14.3 million, up from €6.4 million a year ago, and the EBIT margin grew to 7.6% for the period, against 4.3% for the first three months of 2013.
Wacker Neuson said the improvement was down to a number of factors, including the manufacturer’s comparatively weak performance in the first quarter of last year.
In addition, it said measures introduced last year to increase efficiency and reduce costs had played a part.
Europe accounted for the lion’s share of overall growth, with revenues up 20% compared with the first quarter of 2013. And the company’s compact equipment segment also proved to be a strong driver for the period, with revenues 21% higher than in 2013.
In addition, the light equipment segment continued to grow, but revenues were dented by exchange rate fluctuations – they were up 8% on an actual basis, but 1% in € terms.
Revenue from services, which includes the manufacturer’s repair and spare parts business, were up 20% compared with the previous year.
CEO Cem Peksaglam confirmed Wacker Neuson’s growth forecast for 2014. “We assume that we will increase revenues overall to between €1.25 billion and €1.30 billion, which would correspond to growth of between 8% and 12% on the previous year,” he said.
“Increasingly positive signals from Southern Europe, and – even more importantly – strong traction from established markets in Europe and North America, plus the momentum from our current strategy path, are all set to benefit our business over the current year.”
Mr Peksaglam added that the manufacturer would continue to look for sales opportunities in markets other than the construction and agriculture sectors.
The full-year EBITDA margin is expected to lie between 8% and 9%, compared to 8.2% in 2013. The company has earmarked around €85 million for investments this year, compared to €87 million last year.