In 2012, the global market for aerial work platforms was driven by North America. Haulotte Group’s consolidated sales grew by 16%, with a high growth rate in Latin America (+77%), North America (+27%) and Asia-Pacific (+22%).
Current operating income rose sharply through the positive impact of additional volume on gross margin, a reduction in the impact of low industrial activity, continuing favourable evolution of sales prices, and a better margin on rental activities and service. Fixed costs, excluding impairment of trade receivables, increased by 4%, mainly reflecting commercial investments in areas with high potential development. All of these elements allowed Haulotte Group to generate a positive operating margin, excluding exchange gain and loss, of 3.2% in 2012.
The Group’s net debt had fallen significantly to €102 million by Dec. 31, 2012. However, discussions with the banks have commenced due to non-compliance with certain banking ratios.
Working capital requirements have also fallen significantly, due to good control of DSO and a sharp decline in stock throughout the year.
According to reports from the company, the positive orientation of emerging markets and the need for fleet renewal in European rental companies should allow Haulotte Group to grow by around 10% of sales in 2013 and continue to improve its operating margin.