Wacker sees slowdown effects through 2008

18 August 2008

Wacker said there was a significant drop in demand for its light construction products in May and June, particularly from the US, Spain and the UK, and that it expected the slowdown to impact on sales of light and compact equipment for the rest of 2008.

The company accelerated investment in its equipment rental businesses in central and eastern Europe during the first half of the year, with the €25.7 million expenditure representing almost half of all capital investment by the group. Rental revenues for the six months were down very slightly from €21.6 million to €21.4 million.

Total sales for the first half of the year grew by 38% to €341.7 million, boosted by the merger with Neuson Kramer. Profit before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) increased by 14.4% to €63.2 million.

Wacker, soon to be renamed Wacker Neuson SE, said it is seeing uncertain market conditions for equipment sales in the US and Western Europe. In contrast, light equipment sales in Asia, South Africa, South America, and Eastern and Central Europe have remained "strong".

The company said a recent production increase "...enables [it] to fast track the roll-out of compact equipment." Those launches "...should provide the Group with new impetus for 2009 and beyond." Production facilities at Norton Shores in the US and at Pfullendorf in Germany started ahead of schedule.

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