Wacker Neuson makes net loss

By Becca Durrant26 March 2010

Wacker Neuson recorded a € 110 million net loss for 2009 compared to the € 37 million annual profit recorded in 2008. The loss would have totalled € 2,9 million but for two, one-off payments of € 9,6 million for HR related restructuring costs and € 100 million in non-cash write-downs, mainly on goodwill attributable to the Neuson Kramer subgroup.

The company recorded sales of € 597 million in 2009, down - 31,4 % on the € 870 million recorded in 2008. Meanwhile, earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) fell by - 73 % to € 27 million, compared to the € 100 million recorded in 2008.

In a statement the company said while demand for compact equipment remained in a downward spiral, demand for light equipment showed slight signs of revival from the third quarter onwards. Meanwhile, the rental business in Central and Eastern Europe reported record sales.

Wacker Neuson CEO Georg Sick said, "We proactively and systematically implemented our go-to-market strategies and cost-cutting measures, and succeeded in reducing our break-even point to around € 600 million. We were able to mitigate our sizeable Q1 operating loss with a modest return to the black in the remaining three quarters."

In the past year Wacker Neuson said it has aimed to secure its long-term growth objectives, particularly with the global launch of its compact equipment line. The company added it also invested in regional expansion in Asia and has won new market shares as a result.

"We are in a good position to seize upcoming market opportunities and are well prepared for an economic upturn. Demand stabilised towards the end of fiscal 2009 and this trend has continued into the first two months of fiscal 2010. We again see positive signs for order intake for this period relative to the same period last year," Dr Sick said.

He added the company expects an increase in EBITDA in 2010 and a return to operating profit as well as an increase in revenues of at least + 5 %.

"Securing our extremely healthy asset and financial position remains a top priority. We will continue to keep a tight rein on costs, but do not at present envisage further staff rationalisation measures," Dr Sick said.

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