Palfinger continues to post records

Austrian loader crane and work platform manufacturer Palfinger has reported a record financial result for 2019.

Total revenues were €1.75 billion, up 8.6 percent to a new record, thanks to higher sales in Europe, North America, Russia and China and a positive product mix, between product groups and regions. Pre-tax profits for the company were almost 20 percent higher at €133.1 million. Net debt was slightly higher at €525.6 million.

Sales and service revenues for the Land division, which is mainly generated by sales and support, of loader cranes, aerial work platforms, and other truck based lifting or loading equipment, increased 12.7 percent to €1.45 billion. Of this just over a €1 billion came from loader crane sales, almost nine percent up on the year. Aerial work platform sales were included in the other revenues which were 7.5 percent higher at €746 million. Operating profits for the division were 6.9 percent higher at €155 million.

Fourth quarter revenues for the Land division were eight percent higher €380.1, while operating income for the division was €38.8 million, up 30 percent on the year. However, incoming order intake was said to be significantly lower in the second half.

The Sea division saw annual sales decline to €192.5 million in fiscal year 2019, earnings improved from a loss of €29.1 million in 2018, to a loss of €8.2 million for 2019. Fourth quarter sales for the Sea division were only slightly lower than last year at €50.4 million with an operating loss of €548,000, compared to a loss last year in the Sea division of €15.1 million.

The company expects 2020 growth to be slower, but says it is still on track to achieve €2 billion of sales by 2022.

Vertikal Comment

Palfinger does not make it easy to do a comprehensive review of its results, with the annual report running to 284 closely pack pages. Finding order intake numbers and changes proved elusive, the company has done well, but is clearly font loaded, partly based on a backlog flowing over from 2018, it is seeing a slow down at the moment. It says that it remains confident however that 2020 will be another good year, even if growth is a little slower.

All said and done the company is doing more things right than wrong, and it looks as though its marine ‘Sea‘ division will finally move back into the black, in the next quarter or two, and might even provide most of the growth during the first quarter or two?

Hopefully the company will look at simplifying and clarifying its quarterly reports, but expect the first and second quarters to be a little less rosy than 2019 has been.


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