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Kobelco unit production up 35%

Kobelco crane company Ltd, shipped 230 crawler cranes in the first half of 2005 compared to 170 in the same period of 2004, an increase of 60 units or 35 percent.

The product mix indicates that far more of the cranes were smaller models, as revenues declined by 4.6 percent to 16.8 billion yen, ($140/£79 million) profits increased by 58 percent to 669 million yen ($5.6/£3.1million) while net after tax profits were up by 280 percent to 414 million yen ($3.4/£1.9 million).

Shipments were split between Japan, with Nine billion yen ($75/£42.4 million) or 54 percent of sales, and the rest of the world with 7.8billion ($65/£36.7 million) spread widely.

Sales in China fell back, due to government restrictions and “A fall off in demand for large crawler cranes used in power plant construction” Sales of badged units through Manitowoc continued to increase, while Kobelco’s own efforts in North America resulted in a “sharp increase in units sold through its own distribution channels”

Order intake improved with the result that full year revenues are forecast to show an increase of nine percent on 2004. The company anticipates full year revenues will be 37.8 billion yen, ($315/£178 million). With an operating income of 1.8 billion yen ($15/£8.5 million) an increase of 106 percent on 2004.
Net profit is expected to rise by 115 percent.

The Manitowoc agreement continues to grow, and progress has been made towards the introduction of the European models for Manitowoc. Starting now in January 2006, Kobelco will be ready to begin marketing three models all with Tier three engines.

The company’s announcement did not say a great deal about selling Grove All Terrain cranes in Japan, apart from the fact that it “introduced a 265 ton all terrain crane” back in February.

A key focus for Kobelco is the development of “world cranes” with tier three compliant engines and specifications that allow models to be sold across the world with the minimum number of changes.

In Japan, Kobelco says that demand for new crawler cranes increased by eight percent, compared with last year, while it managed to increase its share of the market.

In Japan Kobelco also continues to market its compact rough terrain/City cranes. Demand for this type of crane rose by 27 percent in the first half of 2005, according to the company, with strongest increase in the 12 and 16 tonne class.

Kobelco says that it will increase prices again in the new year to reflect the rise in material costs that is has seen.


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