Light and compact equipment manufacturer Wacker Neuson has announced a record first quarter rise in revenue for the start of 2017, as well as improved operational profitability, prompting the German-based company to confirm its growth prediction for the year ahead.
For the period between January and March in 2017, revenues stood at €338.5 million, which was 6% higher than the previous year once adjusted for currency effects.
The European region, which accounts for 73% of the group’s total revenue, reported a 9% increase in first quarter revenues relative to the previous year, with particularly strong growth in Germany and France.
Revenue in the Americas grew even more rapidly than in Europe, reporting a 13% increase compared to the previous year, with particularly strong demand in the construction industry. This positive development was also true for South America.
There was, however, a drop in revenue in the Asia-Pacific region, which accounts for a small proportion of Wacker Neuson’s total revenue – just 3%. The 45% fall on the previous year was attributed to a one-off effect in the first quarter of 2016 linked to dealers in China stocking up on compact equipment. Australia and New Zealand, on the other hand, showed positive growth for the first time in a long period.
The group recorded an 18.3% fall in its adjusted profit before interest and taxes (EBIT), which stood at €14.3 million in the first quarter. The EBIT margin was recorded as 4.2%, compared to 5.5% in the corresponding quarter of 2016.
However, once these figures were adjusted to take account of some one-off effects, EBIT was said to have risen by 28% compared to the previous year, and the EBIT margin was 4.8%, which the company said reflected its improved operational profitability.
Wacker Neuson recorded a positive cash flow from operating activities of €1.6 million – up on the first quarter of 2016, when the figure was minus €6.1 million. It also reported a rise in order intake and backlog.
With these positive results, the executive board has reaffirmed that it expects revenue to increase for fiscal year 2017, amounting to between €1.4 billion and €1.45 billion. The group also predicts that the EBIT margin will range between 7.5% and 8.5%, which is higher than the 2016 figure of 6.5%.