Haulotte sales up 24%

By Maria Hadlow11 March 2011

Haulotte has reported a sales increase of 23.8% in 2010 over 2009 but says that earnings were still impacted by low levels of market activity.

Sales in 2010 were valued at €250 million but the company made a net loss of €42.2 million: improvement of 24.2% over 2009.

Haulotte says that business was buoyed by the gradual return to investment by major US rental companies and the dynamism of emerging markets: overall the market for powered access platforms grew more than 30% in volume. Haulotte Group sales rose in all geographic areas, with equipment sales increasing 34%.

The company says that current operating income was hit by a number of factors: low additional volume generating gross margin; the high cost of under utilization of production and the high level of trade receivables (outstanding debts). However, clearance of inventory, changes in raw material prices and a better contribution from rental activities positively impacted Haulotte's margin. Haulotte continued to work on lowering fixed costs, reducing them by 7% compared to 2009.

The Haulotte Group said that significant increase in order book backlog in recent months and the recovery of certain markets allow it to anticipate a growth in 2011 comparable to 2010. "The prospect of growth should enable us to return to operational balance. Priority is given in 2011 in maintaining our margins, the rise in production plans and the end of our plan to reduce working capital."

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