Palfinger has reported first quarter revenues almost 11 percent lower with a steeper fall in profits.
Total revenues for the quarter were €393.2 million down 10.8 percent on the same quarter last year due largely to a decline in Russian and European forestry business. Pre-tax profits plunged 31.9 percent to €26.1 million. The company managed further reductions in its financial gearing and is very confident that it will come through the current crisis in good shape.
As to the outlook for the rest of the year its report says: “Considering the current developments that are having a significant impact on the market, the supply chain, and in the company’s plants, we expect greater cutbacks in demand and production in the first half of 2020 and for the year as a whole. The usage of the short time work has been maximised. Visibility on the markets remains low and requires ongoing reassessment of the current situation. Capacities have been adjusted in order to protect employees’ health and comply with standards put in place by national authorities as well as in expectation of lower market demand.”
“The company’s domestic sites in Austria and international sites in Italy, France, and Russia were partially closed for production in April. This time was used to implement extensive hygiene and health care measures in the offices and production areas in preparation for gradual ramping up of operations in late April.”
“On a positive note, Palfinger continues to benefit from any upcoming business opportunities like two substantial orders worth €13 million in India and Thailand in April.
Palfinger is in a strong position in that it is effectively controlled by the Palfinger family and already had a strong balance sheet and relatively low gearing. The company has, we understand, merged its Sea, Land and Corporate ‘segments’ into a single, simpler structure and will hopefully drop some of the ‘corporate’ affections which seemed to have been creeping into the business at the top line reporting level. The company has traditionally done well by focusing on making the best products it can and on the long term growth of the company, rather than short term gains to feed the more aggressive fund managers.
All in all not a bad result given the current global business climate.