Palfinger holds up

Austrian loader crane and aerial lift manufacturer Palfinger has published its half year results.

Total revenues for the six months to the end of June were 18.3 percent lower than the for the same period last year at €729.8 million. As to where the decline was steepest, Europe was 16 percent lower at €461.7 million, North America down 21 percent to €160.2 million, while most others were in that range with the forestry crane business in Russia and CIS states continuing to decline, leading to a decline of almost 39 percent to €38.7 million.

Pre-tax profit for the half year declined 60 percent to €30.55 million. The company also managed to reduce its net debt by almost 14 percent to €494.3 million. This was due to restructuring its assets, but also possibly related to the cancellation of its dividend?

Second quarter revenues fell 24.5 percent to €336.6 million, while pre-tax profits plummeted from €27.5 million last year to just €1.8 million. The company has said that it saw a pickup in June and is now forecasting €1.5 billion revenues for the full year - if so this would reflect a decline of just 14 percent for the year. It also said that the first half was helped by a strong order book at the start of the year and solid order intake in the first quarter. It claims to have a four month backlog and is therefore confident of the third quarter.

Chief executive Andreas Klauser said: “Palfinger quickly and efficiently implemented measures to optimize liquidity, maintain supply chains and ensure the health of its workforce. In an extremely uncertain market environment with low visibility we have given our employees, partners and customers maximum stability and reliability.”

“The Covid-19 Task Force set up at the end of February carried out a total of 220 measures for proactive management in three work packages: Health and Safety, Production and Operations Management, and Liquidity Optimisation. We dealt with this stage of the crisis successfully and enter the second half of the year on a solid footing.”

Vertikal Comment

No matter how you look at it, this is a pretty good result from Palfinger, it remains in profit, has reduced its debt load a little, and says that only 10 of its 11,000 employees were reported to have had Covid-19. Its plants are all open again and orders are beginning to come in.

It has however – sensibly – reduced the speed of its growth and now expects to reach revenues of €2 billion by 2024.

Hopefully we might see a few more results along these lines.


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