Hiab hit by weaker dollar

Hiab has reported a small rise in first quarter revenues, while profits slipped, both due to a weaker dollar/euro exchange rate during the period.

Total revenues at Hiab were €276 million two percent up on the same period last year. Order intake was seven percent higher at €307 million, leaving the order book/backlog at the end of March 10 percent higher than this time last year at €329 million. Operating profits slipped nine percent to €36.1 million, apparently almost entirely due to the weakness of the dollar.

Sister company Kalmar reported revenues two percent higher at €371 million, with an operating profit of 27.9 million up five percent on the year.

Cargotec chief executive Mika Vehviläinen said: “Good demand continued in Hiab, good development in service business. Our total orders received during the first quarter of 2018 were at last year's level. In comparable foreign exchange rates, our order intake grew seven percent. The difference is particularly related to the weakening of the US dollar compared to euro. Orders received grew in Hiab and MacGregor and were close to last year's level in Kalmar.”

“Our first quarter's operating profit declined slightly compared to the comparison period. Kalmar's operating profit grew. Hiab's operating profit declined, but mainly due to the weakening of the US dollar. MacGregor's operating profit declined because of lower sales resulting from the difficult market situation.”

“Our software business developed well during the first quarter from a strategic viewpoint, even though sales remained at last year's level in comparable foreign exchange rates. In recent years, we have invested in the development of the XVELA software which markedly increases the efficiency of the container handling chain. XVELA is a digital collaboration platform, which enables various parties in the chain to streamline the increasingly complex ocean supply chain, improve collaboration and deliver goods more efficiently. The commercialisation of XVELA is proceeding well and six carriers already use the software.”

Vertikal Comment

Hiab has done well in the past year or two and is making strong progress, this is a surprising set back, but although it is almost certainly likely to be a temporary blip along the way, the company is making solid gains, which is reflected in the stronger order intake and growing order book. The comparisons are also being made with a record first quarter in 2017, which helps put this into perspective.

Expect the steady upward trend to continue, if not gather pace.


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