For the fourth quarter of 2013 income from continuing operations was $84.8m on net sales of $1.8bn. This was a significant change from the same quarter in 2012, when Terex registered a loss on continuing operations of $33.2m, on net sales of $1.6bn, for the same quarter that year.

The cranes segment of the business took a 6% hit in sales for the year. In its quarterly conference call Terex said this was partly due to a softening in the Australian and Southeast Asian markets. The firm said that the backlog for cranes was up on last year and that it would look to increase its operating margin in 2014.

Speaking at the investors conference call (transcribed by Tim Ford, president of Terex Cranes, said: "Australia was a tough pill to swallow for us this year. The business was down about 35% and I think really, we started to feel it significantly in the second and third quarter. More recently we have seen some stabilisation in that business: in the November, December timeframe, we started to see a little bit of a pick up in orders. Our team is feeling pretty confident that we’ve reached bottom. The first half of the year we’ll continue to bounce along the bottom, and maybe in the second half we’ll see a little bit of order strengthening. But we’re pretty confident that the Australian business is sort of at its trough for sure.

"This year is going to depend on the timing of orders. If the orders come in, in the first quarter we’ll be delivering them in the second and third quarter. If they don’t come until the second quarter or even into the early part of the third quarter we’ll be challenging ourselves to get the order turned into revenues.

"I’m in Europe this week meeting with customers. The tone is cautiously optimistic, but getting the actual purchase order out of somebody’s hand until they have the job in hand is still a challenge. But people are starting to see works and beginning to feel like things are moving in the right direction."

Other segments of the business supported the cranes segment, balancing out the result as Ron DeFeo, Terex Chairman and CEO, explains: "This past year was a tale of two halves, with the second half of the year significantly stronger than the first half. Our performance in the second half was fueled by the continued strength of our Aerial Work Platforms (AWP) segment and a turnaround in our Materials Handling & Port Solutions (MHPS) segment. Our focus throughout the year on strengthening margins and driving financial efficiency helped deliver a strong close to the year."

"Our Cranes segment failed to realise the growth that we had anticipated entering 2013. While new product launches did provide some growth, markets such as Australia, Europe and Latin America were more challenging than anticipated. During 2013, we made investments and implemented actions to set us on a course toward increased profitability in 2014 and beyond. We enter 2014 with optimism around our businesses and expectations to deliver improved financial results."