Manitou Group reported financial results for the first half of 2014, indicating sales of €642 million, up 9 percent compared to the first half of 2013. Recurring operating income was €24.5 million (3.8 percent of sales) versus €5.5 million in the same period of 2013. Net income after taxes was €14.2 million compared to €1.1 million in the first half of 2013. Net debt was €90 million versus €85 million at year-end and €57 million in the first half of 2013.
“The 2014 half-year results were totally in-line with our roadmap and confirmed the forecasted improvement in the group's financial performance,” said Michel Denis, Manitou president and CEO. “The 9 percent growth in sales compared to H1 2013 (+13 percent like for like) were achieved within a difficult environment and permitted us to strengthen our market position through improvements in our market share. That was made possible thanks to the work of our teams and our networks which could rely on an efficient and responsive operating chain.”
The Compact Equipment Division (Gehl, Mustang) realized sales of €133.4 million, an increase of 5 percent compared to the first half of 2013 and 9 percent at constant exchange rate. The business and results were adversely affected by the extreme weather experienced in North America during the first quarter. Compared to H1 2013, the division maintained its gross margin at a high level and benefited from the leverage created by the additional volumes, allowing it to increase its operating margin from 5.3 percent to 6.5 percent.
The Rough Terrain Handling division realized sales of €449.2 million, an increase of 13 percent compared to the first half of 2013. Gross margin increased by 1.3 percent, driven by volume levels and improved production efficiency. The division also experienced a decrease in external expenses and benefitted from the favorable impact of the decline in the euro. Recurring operating income amounted to €17.1 million compared to €0.4 million for the first half of 2013, an improvement of +3.7 points in profitability.
The Industrial Material Division recorded sales of €59.3 million, a decrease of 13 percent compared to the first half of 2013 and an increase of 1 percent at a constant scope. The rationalization of marketing and administrative expenses permitted the slight reduction of losses on recurring operating income which evolved from -€1.7 million in H1 2013 to -€1.3 million in H1 2014, or a recurring operating margin of -2.1 percent.
“In the second half-year, we remain very attentive to market developments for the rental and agriculture markets, for the first because of its high volatility and for the second because of its already pronounced slowdown,” Denis said. “We are pursuing our development efforts in growth regions, especially in North America and Northern Europe. We are also continuing to move forward with the implementation of our new roadmap through the recasting of our organization and the simplification of our processes."