Kobelco Cranes increased revenues by 17.2 percent in its 2011/12 fiscal year ending in March, achieving total sales of 48 billion yen ($495.5 million).
The improvement was driven mainly by North America and Southeast Asia, although demand in Japan also picked up due to restoration work following the big earthquake.
The company also moved back into profit turning a loss last year of 1.36 billion yen ($16.9 million) into a 161 million yen ($1.95 million) pre-tax profit this year.
During the period Kobelco Cranes completed its manufacturing facilities in India and China, the company also claims that it has a more than 50 percent share of the crawler crane market that it competes in and that the new plants, which are now producing equipment, will help maintain that share.
Parent Kobe Steel reported total revenues up just 0.3 percent to 1,864 billion yen ($23 billion), while pre-tax profits plunged from 88 billion yen ($1.1 billion) last year to 27.8 billion this year ($344 million) this year.
These results are taken from the Kobe Steel accounts, thus the crane information is limited, however the company normally reveals further details of its divisional results, including unit shipment and more geographical details at a later date. We will update this article when that information is available.
Overall a good result for Kobelco, it improved sales in a tough market and managed to claw its way back to profit. In spite of its high market share the company could do better in many regions, especially Europe.
It produces an absolutely first class product, but lacks the distribution and marketing skills in many areas that some of its competitors possess. Several Chinese crane manufacturers have Kobelco in their long term sights, and are progressing at a rapid pace, it needs to ‘up its game’ now if it is not to fall by the wayside later.