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Strong start for Palfinger

Palfinger has reported a strong first quarter in spite of the cyber attack which cost it a couple of weeks of production in January.

Total revenues increased 3.2 percent to €405.9 million, while pre-tax profits were 47.2 percent higher at €38.4 million, thanks to the higher revenues, lower costs and a good product mix. The company says that order intake was particularly high, taking its order book to record levels but does not specify numbers. Net debt at the end of the quarter was cut from €540 million to €386 million.

It is now forecasting a record year for 2021 with revenues in the region of €1.75 billion and pre-tax profit likely to be in the region of €140 million. It also now expects to pass the €2 billion revenue level in 2024.

Chief executive Andreas Klauser said: “Palfinger faced two weeks of production downtime due to a cyberattack at the end of January, the consequences of which are being compensated for as quickly as possible. For this reason, extra shifts are being worked at our production sites. We reacted fast and efficiently to the cyberattack, successfully limited the damage and restarted production in the shortest time possible.”

“The global economic recovery is reflected in Palfinger’s good order intake and consequently full order books, therefore, all plants are working at full capacity. Economic growth of 8.4 percent is forecast for China, 6.4 percent for the USA and 4.4 percent for Europe. The upturn is being driven largely by the construction industry. The timber industry is developing positively too. However, the upturn is accompanied by rising raw material prices which results in higher costs along the supply chain. We also have to keep in mind the risk of limited material availability.”

Vertikal Comment

This is a strong and bullish report from Palfinger, which is clearly picking up the pace in terms of both revenues but more importantly profitability. Moving forward it is unpicking its less than successful cross shareholding partnerships with Sany and making record investments in its existing operations in order to achieve the goal of passing its €2 billion sales target as soon as possible.

Everything certainly looks very positive for 2021, which should place it in a very good position for another record year in 2022. All very encouraging. Although the one uncertainty giving all manufacturers a cause for concern is the looming risk of material and component shortages, starting with the current microchip shortage.

Time will tell how this all pans out, but those companies that have good relationships with their supply chains and those that pay fair prices promptly are the ones most likely to come through any shortages with the least number of issues.

Interesting times.