Record first quarter for Palfinger

Crane and aerial work platform manufacturer Palfinger has reported higher first quarter revenues and profits.

Total revenues were 11.8 percent up on the same quarter last year at €440.9 million, all due to the company’s Land division which includes the cranes and aerial work platforms. The Sea division continued to struggle in the quarter with revenues declining and losses increasing. However in spite of this, group pre-tax profits jumped 29 percent to €41.1 million and the company looks set for a record year.

Palfinger is now reporting its Land business in two divisions or “segments” ‘Sales & Service Land’, and ‘Operations Land’ which includes just the production element of the cranes and platforms.

Essentially the crane, hooklift and aerial work platform business as a whole achieved sales of €393.9 million – of which Sales & Service was €360.5 million. The combined operating profit was almost 24 percent higher at €83.4 million with Sales & Service representing €50 million of this.

The Sea division is currently being restructured but the plan is also to split that up between sales & Service and Operations as well. Revenues in the quarter were more than 16 percent lower at €47.1 million, while losses increased from €6 million in the same quarter last year to €6.8 million this year – restructuring costs totalled €4.2 million in the quarter.

The company reports its holding company/headquarter costs as a division, with costs totalling €6.7 compared to €5.4 million last year. The company has also confirmed that Sany’s agreement to buy back 2.5 percent of Palfinger’s shares in the Chinese crane and access business Sany Lifting Solutions - announced in October - has completed for €28.6 million, and that this revenue is included in the first quarter results.
Net debt at the end of the quarter was seven percent higher on the year at €577.4.

Vertikal Comment

This is of course an excellent result from Palfinger, or at least from its core business, the marine business continues to be a drag on revenue and growth and profitability, the company has discovered as has its main competitor Cargotec, that the marine business works in a different way. Ideally it would exit this market and focus on what it does best - lifting equipment.

The core business is on course to exceed €2 billion in revenues this year, and still have plenty of further growth potential, even if the overall market remained static. There are many major markets where is not yet a significant player and given its corporate structure, first products and strong brand the future looks bright.


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