Manitou sales rise 36% but no "volume pick-up signals"

By Murray Pollok22 July 2010

Manitou's second quarter revenues increased by 36% to €225 million compared to the same period last year, with compact equipment sales (including Gehl in the US) doubling to €32.9 million and rough terrain handler sales up 24% to €157.7 million.

Jean-Christophe Giroux, Manitou president and chief executive officer, welcomed a strong second quarter but said the company still did not see "volume pick-up signals, either for construction rental, agriculture expansion or dealers re-stocking."

Mr Giroux said the increased sales reflected "2009 pushouts and natural replacement cycles, combined with traditional business seasonality."

The company has also announced a ‘Red Series' initiative under which the company's ten best selling products will be produced to stock. Over the past year and a half the company has been producing purely to order.

Manitou said; "Those models do not show any new or particular features, but are immediately available to customers thanks to limited buffer stocks." The initiative also aims to help secure components supplies in advance.

Manitou's best performing region was North America, where sales in the second quarter rose by 69% to €30.4 million, while sales in France rose 25% to €77.7 million and in the rest of Europe by 41% to €98.1 million.

Mr Giroux said the quarterly sales pattern remained difficult to predict, but added that "it sounds like we can capture enough growth to post a 10-to-15% net revenue ramp over 2009 and confirm our path to recovery".

Meanwhile, Manitou has sold its remaining 20% share of Toyota's French forklift subsidiary, TIE (Toyota Industrial Equipment) SA, for €11.3 million in cash. Toyota takes over full ownership of the French-based manufacturing operations.

Manitou said this would not affect the triple partnership between Toyota and Manitou, with Manitou manufacturing forklift masts for TIE, Manitou reselling Toyota trucks in France (on an exclusive basis) and Toyota holding 3% of Manitou's share capital.

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