Munich-based light equipment manufacturer Wacker Neuson reports a healthy balance sheet despite difficult conditions. The company says that group revenue climbed by 13% for the first quarter, compared with the same period last year. This a new record for the first quarter of €291.6 million, compared with €257.1 million for the same period in 2013. The performance was affected by currency fluctuations as currency values in many emerging markets as well as the US dollar lost ground against the Euro in the first quarter of 2014. Discounting these adverse exchange rate effects, revenue grew 17% relative to the prior-year period. “Our business was bolstered by the steady upturn in the European construction industry, a more upbeat mood across the European agricultural sector coupled with a relatively mild winter and a general revival in the US construction industry. We were able to strengthen our position in almost all of our markets,” said Cem Peksaglam, CEO of Wacker Neuson SE. On a regional basis, Europe accounted for much of overall growth, with revenue up 20% compared with the first quarter of 2013. At €36.2 million, profit before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) rose 46% compared with the same period last year. The Group’s profit for the period amounted to €14.3 million compared with €6.4 million for the same period in 2013.
The compact equipment segment proved to be a strong revenue driver in the first quarter of 2014. Revenue was 21% higher than the previous year. The Group is increasingly seeing the dividends of its pro-active and targeted strategy of pushing the sale of excavators, wheel loaders, dumpers and skid steer loaders through Wacker Neuson’s existing international sales network. Demand for Weidemann- and Kramer-branded compact equipment was also strong. The light equipment segment continued to grow, but the revenue figures were dented by exchange rate fluctuations (actual +8%, in euro only +1%). Revenue from services, which includes the repair and spare parts business, rose 20% compared with the previous year.
The Group is optimistic about its prospects for the year ahead. “We assume that we will increase revenue overall to between €1.25 and €1.3 billion, which would correspond to growth of between 8 and 12% on the previous year,” said Peksaglam. “Increasingly positive signals from Southern Europe, and – even more importantly – strong traction from established markets in Europe and North America, plus the momentum from our current strategy path are all set to benefit our business over the current year.”
Source: World Highways