Sales grow for big two

8 December 2004

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Columbus McKinnon’s export sales have rocketed in its fiscal 2005 second quarter to 3 October. The company said the weak dollar helped increase the total amount of hoist and lifting products to 36% of total production. Products segment sales were $109m. The announcement comes after the company has announced it would raise hoists and hoist parts prices for the second time in 2004. Following a price increase in May, the company announced in early October that it raised hoist prices by 4% and hoist parts prices by 5%. In a press conference, CEO Timothy Tevens admitted that the company generally only raises prices once a year. Earlier in 2004, CM also imposed a steel surcharge, mainly on chains and forgings, to defray the high cost of steel.

KCI Konecranes has reported that orders for maintenance services and standard lifting equipment accelerated in the third quarter of 2004. Sales of simple, low-capacity cranes in the company’s standard lifting range grew by 17% in the quarter compared with the similar quarter in 2003 to Euro 52m ($68m). It also reports that the number of large special cranes projects is running higher than ever.

The company’s July to September profit before taxes was Euro 8.5m ($11m), below the figure of Euro 9.7m expected by 10 analysts polled by Reuters, the news agency reported.

“Temporary difficulties in parts supply and raw material availability have had some negative impact,” KCI Konecranes said.

It also hinted that production in China will help improve the situation. In the first nine months of 2004, Asia Pacific sales grew by 63% to Euro 103m. By comparison, Europe sales were Euro 235m and Americas sales Euro 149m ($192m), both slight declines compared with last year.

“Supply bottlenecks are expected to be removed within the current year, and there will be some capacity additions,” the company said. “In Shanghai, our factory will be extended to double capacity, adding to group output in the second half of 2005.”