First-quarter 2014 net sales in the Manitowoc Crane segment of the Manitowoc Company were $466.7 million, down 14.2% on the $544.0 million from the same period of 2013.
The decline “resulted from the lower level of backlog at the start of the year coupled with some customer-related project delays,” the USA-based global crane manufacturer said. Sales were driven by continued activity in the Americas and by ongoing growth in the Middle East tower crane market.
Operating earnings in the crane segment for Q1 2014 were $22.6 million, down 35% from $34.9 million in the same period a year earlier. The operating margin of 4.8% for the first quarter of 2014 was also down on the 6.4% for the first quarter of 2013.
Order backlog was $842 million on 31 March 2014, up by $267 million, or 47%, on the fourth quarter 2013. First quarter 2014 orders of $733 million were 29% higher than the first quarter of 2013. All confirmed orders placed during the ConExpo exhibition in March were included in the backlog.
“We remain encouraged by the opportunities for our Crane segment, as our exhibit at ConExpo was met with tremendous success and once again demonstrated the importance of innovation to our customers and the construction industry. The introduction of our patented variable position counterweight crawler crane technology drove order intake to its highest level since before the recession, further supporting our belief that the market is beginning to rebound. While we do not believe the market is robust given uneven demand in some product lines and regions, we will maintain our focus on driving growth and enhancing our profitability in this segment,” said Glen Tellock, Manitowoc chairman and chief executive officer.
In the first quarter the company incurred a $14.2 million loss from the Dong Yue Chinese truck crane manufacturer disposal. It was non-cash costs associated with early extinguishment of debt totaling $16.4 million, and $1.3 million of costs associated with restructuring, the company said. For the full year 2014 Manitowoc forecasts modest top-line growth in crane revenue and a high single-digit percentage operating margin for the crane segment.
For the Manitowoc Company as a whole, including the foodservice division, sales were $850 million for the first quarter of 2014, down 5% on the $894.6 million for the same period a year earlier. Sales in the Foodservice segment were up by 9.3%, helping to offset the Crane segment fall.
“The first quarter of 2014 played out largely in-line with our expectations, providing the foundation for us to achieve our full-year outlook,” said Tellock.
“The growth we experienced in our Foodservice segment during the quarter, coupled with Cranes’ very successful ConExpo trade show in March, underscores the strength of our offerings, as well as the level of innovation we bring to our customers. While the global macro-economic landscape remains somewhat pressured, we are committed to leveraging our core competencies and strengths to drive continued performance, including new product introductions, industry-leading aftermarket services and solutions, and operational excellence initiatives,” Tellock concluded.
Author: Alex Dahm, KHL Group
Source: KHL Group