KCI Konecranes has reported a 9% rise in sales to E703m for 2000. Orders rose 42% to E764m. The rise was attributed to a combination of organic growth and acquisitions.

Group operating profit was up 23% to E39.6m. The operating income before goodwill amortisation (EBITA) was E43.7m, a rise of 25.6%. Income before taxes totalled E34m, 12.6% up on 1999’s figure.

Maintenance Services’ order intake increased 28.4% over 1999 and sales increased 24.5%. At year end, the number of cranes under maintenance contracts totalled 187,183, the company claimed, a 12% year-on-year rise. Germany recorded the fastest growth, following several acquisitions including the maintenance activities of Noell Service und Maschinentechnik. Disregarding acquisitions and disposals, the organic sales growth was 17%. Operating income amounted to E21.3m, up 10% from 1999.

Standard Lifting Equipment’s order intake grew 19.5% on 1999 and sales were up 16%. The company said that development was “very good in Europe, good in America and still less than satisfactory in Asia”.

Operating income was up by nearly 5% to E22.5m. The result was burdened with a E1.7m cost attributed to the launch of a new product platform.

“Market prospects as a whole remain stable and the expectations for sales growth and margins improvement during 2001 are favourable. The few uncertainties that can be seen relate to the general investment climate in the USA and to the speed and size of the Asian recovery,” the company said.

Special Cranes’ order intake rose 105% and sales were up 20.4%. Orders growth was very fast within harbour and shipyard cranes but orders for industrial heavy duty cranes also had a strong growth. Success was attributed to KCI’s product range and new control equipment. Operating income was up 11% to E13.8m.

“Prospects for the year 2001 are extraordinary,” said the company. “Orders-in-hand run record high and we have already secured a good growth for the whole of 2001, both in sales and margins. Orders-in-hand are presently accumulating for 2002 and 2003, which clearly indicates a continuation of the favourable development.” President and chief executive officer Stig Gustavson said: “The year 2000 was a year full of achievements. The Asian economic crisis, which for one year diverted the Group from its growth track, prompted the Group to speed up its development.

“Our achievements in Maintenance Services have been remarkable. During the second quarter, we were forced to discontinue work on our much-needed administrative computer ERP-tool, the Omniman. The Omniman was the only Group development effort, which did not give a positive contribution.”