Essex Rental Corp completed the sale of its aerial work platforms and forklifts in January, sharpening the company's forcus on crane rental, which showed gradual recovery in 2012 results. The company has officially has exited the work platform and forklift market, where it admits it lacked competitive advantage and was not able to leverage its crane expertise.
Essex reports that crawler crane utilization increased in every quarter of 2012 and in the final period stood at 44.8 percent, up from 38.3 percent in 2011.
Earnings have been positive. The company posted EBITDA earnings in the fourth quarter of $5 million, in contrast to $2.1 million in 2011. Yearly earnings nearly doubled, to $17.2 million.
In its 2012 year-end financial reports, Essex said it will continue to identify opportunities to sell rental fleet assets underused during historic peak demand periods and use the proceeds to reduce outstanding debt. During 2012, it sold $17.3 million of non-core and excess rental fleet assets (at 109 percent of appraised orderly liquidation value) to reduce its debt by $10.9 million.