The global market for powered access platforms continues to be boosted by the growth in the U.S. market in the first half of 2012. In this context, Haulotte Group increased revenue by 25% up to € 184.5 million against € 148.0 million in the first half of 2011.
According to a company press release, equipment sales rose 30%, with significant growth in South America and Asia Pacific. North America also had a good first half with 34% growth. Service activity increased by only 3%, due to slower growth in the sale of spare parts (5%). The rental business continues to increase with the development of Latin America and improvement in fleet utilization rates in Northern Europe.
The increase in volume and the rise in production levels have improved the operating income to 3% of sales (excluding restructuring costs and exchange gains & losses). It is also affected by the improvement in profitability of services and rental business. Costs relating to the closure of Haulotte's Spanish plant and the transfer of production to its French sites amounted to € 4.4 million. Fixed costs increased by 5% in relation to the business development in high-growth areas.
Despite a slowdown in the growth of the global market due to persistent macroeconomic uncertainties, Haulotte reports it expects the second half of 2012 to be comparable to the first half. This will enable the company to achieve a positive operating income for the full year, its release says.
In late July 2012, Haulotte Group signed an amendment to the syndicated loan agreement, extending the maturity until July 2015 and redefining the annual repayments. An amount of € 22.5 million was repaid in accordance with the July 2012 deadline in the credit agreement.