Manitou Group announced its fourth-quarter 2014 sales figures, reporting an overall increase in sales versus the same period in 2013. Sales for the quarter totaled €309 million, a 2 percent increase over 4Q 2013. Cumulative sales were €1.246 billion, a 6 percent increase over the prior year.
The Compact Equipment Products Division reported sales of €63 million, an increase of 27 percent compared to the sales in the fourth quarter of 2013. Sales for the full year period grew by 17 percent, mainly driven by the North American construction market, especially regional rental companies, as well as successful commercial developments in the APAM region.
With sales in the fourth quarter of €193 million, the Material Handling and Access Division reported a decrease of 6 percent compared to the fourth quarter of 2013, being more directly impacted by the slowdown in the market in France and the Russian crisis. The full year 2014 period closed with a 4 percent growth driven by the construction sector and with a slowdown in the agricultural and mining businesses. The industrial material handling business replacing the distribution of Toyota products increased strongly in France as well as in Europe. From a regional perspective, growth was particularly sustained in the U.K., Central Europe and Northern Europe as well as in North America.
The Services and Solutions Division reported an increase in sales of 9 percent compared to the fourth quarter of 2013 at €54 million. For the full year period, the division achieved sales of €206.8 million, which represents 17 percent of total group sales. The implementation of the new organization was finalized during the quarter and can now focus its energies on projects to strengthen its positioning as well as the development of new business activities.
"With the exception of Southern Europe which was adversely impacted by the French and Italian economies, the other regions completed the year in a growth position, despite the slowdown which burdened the agricultural sector in Latin America as well as the political and financial crisis impacting the Russian-Ukrainian region," said Michel Denis, Manitou president and CEO. "Within this very contrasted environment, order intake in the fourth quarter grew, permitting us to close 2014 with an order backlog above the level at the end of 2013. From an operational perspective, the group continued the industrial reorganization of several production sites. These changes will improve customer service and permit us to benefit from capacity made available in December by the termination of the Toyota mast assembly contract (€17 million in 2014). Most of these initiatives had been completed by Q4 and all of them will be completed during the first quarter of 2015."
The company expects a 3 percent increase in sales in 2015.