. Boost in demand in European markets
. 11.3 per cent rise in EBIT
. Harsh winter in North America and exchange rate shifts affected earnings
. Further growth of Systems/Megarme business area
. New record revenue expected for 2014; consolidated revenue targeted to increase to EUR 1.8 billion by 2017
The PALFINGER Group is, on the whole, satisfied with its business performance in the first quarter of 2014. Revenue rose by 18.5 per cent to EUR 267.6 million, primarily as a result of strong demand from the European markets. EBIT increased by 11.3 per cent to EUR 20.1 million, but suffered due to shifts in the foreign currency exchange rates of the Brazilian real and the Russian ruble as well as the impact of the harsh winter in North America. "We are satisfied with the results recorded, because they show that in a volatile environment our flexible global organization is able to stand its ground," commented Herbert Ortner, CEO of PALFINGER AG, on the recent business performance.
All business units contributed to the satisfactory increase in revenue. While strong demand in Europe boosted revenue by more than 25.1 per cent in the EUROPEAN UNITS segment (revenue in Q1 2014: EUR 191.5 million), the increase recorded in the AREA UNITS segment was only 4.8 per cent (revenue in Q1 2014: EUR 76.1 million). The growth achieved in this segment is primarily attributable to the Asia and Pacific regions.
The 11.3 per cent increase in the Group’s EBIT to EUR 20.1 million is exclusively owed to the growth achieved by the EUROPEAN UNITS segment, where EBIT rose by 25.6 per cent to EUR 26.0 million. The EBIT margin for this segment came to 13.6 per cent despite investments in the Systems/Megarme business area. In the AREA UNITS segment, a negative contribution to earnings was reported for the first time in years, dropping from EUR 1.9 million in the first quarter of 2013 to -EUR 1.2 million. The reasons for this decrease are weather-related declines in North America as well as the impact of shifts in the exchange rates in Brazil and Russia. However, full order books and the large number of incoming orders give reason to believe that this segment will soon make a positive contribution to earnings again.
The Management Board of PALFINGER AG expects that in the 2014 financial year, revenue will exceed the one-billion euro threshold and thus reach another record level, even though in general market predictability continues to be extremely low. PALFINGER still sees the potential to double consolidated annual revenue to approx. EUR 1.8 billion by 2017.