Steady growth at Haulotte
Haulotte has posted another period of steady sales growth for the first half, while margins came under pressure.
Total revenues at constant exchange rates were 10 percent up on last year at €289 million. This comprises €252.3 million in new equipment sales up 12 percent on the same period last year, while rental revenues fell 13 percent to €12.9 million. Parts and service revenues were just two percent higher at €24.7 million.
Europe led the way in terms of growth, with 14 percent higher sales, driven by strong demand from major rental companies in most of the region. Revenues in Asia-Pacific were 12 percent higher, thanks to strong sales in China. Sales in South America were 17 percent higher thanks to improvements in all markets, with the exception of Argentina. Finally, North American sales increased 10 percent driven by a 23 percent jump in aerial work platform revenues.
Operating profit declined 11 percent, thanks a less favourable customer and geographical mix – in terms of margins - than last year, higher component costs, and growth in sales, administration and other costs related to implementation of Haulotte’s new strategic plan.
The company did though post a gain on the sale of its Italian business in late June, which helped boost pre-tax profits, which more than doubled to €17.4 million. The company is maintaining its full year forecasts and expects revenues come in at least 10 percent above those of 2017.
Another decent set of numbers from Haulotte, although it is not growing at the same pace as its main competitors, including Genie, JLG and Snorkel, all of which posted sales growth of more than 20 percent. The company will need to make sure that it does not get squeezed between the three largest manufacturers and the low cost entrants from China, including Dingli, Mantall and Sinoboom and JCB.
The company has set out a longer term strategy that could help differentiate it, and its latest products are first class with numerous new features. Whether this is enough to maintain its market position, time will tell.