Sales at Manitowoc in the first quarter of 2017 were US$ 305.8 million, down 28 per cent on the $427.4 million in the same period of 2016. An operating loss of $23.7 million was reported for the quarter, against an operating income of $0.8 million in the first quarter of 2016.
Orders received in the first quarter were $488 million, up 17 % on the same period of 2016.
Commenting on the results, Barry Pennypacker, Manitowoc Company president and chief executive officer, said, In the first-quarter, we were pleased by the strong customer reception of our new products, many of which were highlighted at ConExpo. Nearly half of our equipment orders in the quarter were for products introduced since becoming a standalone crane company last year, which drove year-over-year and sequential orders up by 17 % and 40 %, respectively. Although the market has not shown signs of a sustained recovery, we are encouraged by the increased orders we booked in the quarter, and at this time reiterating our full-year financial guidance.
Pennypacker reported historically low levels of crawler crane demand which, the company said, accounted for half of the decline in sales in the latest quarter over Q1 2016.
The mobile crane business remains soft in the Americas and the Middle East as a result of continued low rental rates, weakness in used equipment prices and low oil prices, notwithstanding the increased activity in some of the American shale basins. Our Tower crane business performed in line with our expectations, reflecting market share gains in key product lines, Pennypacker continued.
Lower sales in the USA were partly offset by increases in Europe from new products, and strength in residential and commercial construction, the company said.
For the full year 2017 Manitowoc forecasts a decrease in revenue of 8 to 10 % year-on-year.
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