Namely, the state of the world’s crane markets and, in turn, the levels of safety within them.

With a luffing jib crane collapsing only yards away from where 200 crane experts were chewing these issues over at the event, the different ends of the spectrum that Dubai represents were made alarmingly clear.

Dubai accident

The jib of a crane lies buckled over the edge of a building in Dubai

In this booming crane market the levels of safety are too often almost non-existent.

Yes, this is an example of a construction crane accident but, make no mistake, the standards within the manufacturing and industrial sectors are often equally poor.

While safety was a hot topic, no less so was the state of the world’s markets, with the US downturn sparking cause for concern.

That said, two high profile companies have just announced their latest financial results and, while there may be a need for caution, panic seems undue.

A full summary of these results can be found elsewhere on the site, but in short…

CMCO president and CEO Tim Tevens has discussed the firm’s long-term goal of achieving $1billion in revenue driving towards an equal balance between domestic and international sales. Hardly the talk we expect on the cusp of a supposed recession, is it?

Strategically, this growth is expected to occur through a combination of organic increases and selective acquisitions, with acquisitions expected to add approximately $100-200m in sales.

Demag Cranes AG, meanwhile, has adopted a slightly more conservative stance with regard to the overall outlook for financial year 2007/2008, upon announcement of its first quarter results. The revenues and earnings forecast revised in the summer was slightly exceeded but the overall business performance within the group was inconsistent.

With an emphasis on innovation, Columbus McKinnon plans for new products to contribute 20% to total sales in the long term.

CM recently announced 9.3% growth in revenue and 8.3% expansion in earnings per diluted share for its third quarter fiscal 2008 which ended December 30 2007.

Demag has confirmed its forecast for group revenue in 2007/2008 to be in the range of Euros 1.13-1.16bn and for adjusted EBIT to be around Euros 110m.

Harald J. Joos, CEO of Demag Cranes AG, said: “Based on the excellent development in the first quarter and the stable growth trends, we believe we are on the very safe side with our full-year guidance.”

Watch this space…

Richard Howes, Editor