Construction strength for Liebherr

By Sandy Guthrie29 October 2010

An increase of 6% in turnover for the year as a whole is being forecast for Liebherr but it said that it seemed probable that only the construction machinery sector would generate this growth.

The German-based group pointed to the fact that the world economy had recovered faster than expected and predicted that this year's total world production would probably increase again almost as quickly as it did in the years before the financial crisis. However, the current upward business trend will lose impetus and give way to a more moderate rate of expansion, it said.

Liebherr manufactures a wide range of products from construction equipment to aerospace and other transportation systems, and from refrigerators to cranes.

Winfried Boehm, a member of the Liebherr-International board of directors, said that the group's annual turnover was expected to rise by around € 420 million, to a total of about € 7,4 billion.

In the construction machinery sector, the company expects to see a growth in turnover of more than +10% or € 450 million to a total of around € 4,5 billion. This growth is attributed to a "powerful upturn" in the earthmoving and mining product division.

"Two other construction machinery product areas will not grow this year," said Boehm. "We expect turnover from mobile and crawler cranes to drop by about -7% or almost € 130 million, to a total slightly above € 1,6 billion.

"In the construction cranes and mixing technology area, our current forecast is that turnover will reach approximately € 510 million - the same level as last year."

He added, however, that the maritime cranes division would continue to grow, and would probably reach a turnover of almost € 700 million with its mobile harbour, container, ship's and offshore cranes. "This is an equivalent to an increase of almost 5%, or about € 30 million. It is worth remembering that we also achieved growth in this product area in 2009, although this was a difficult business year."

Boehm also noted that the results for the current year would be strongly influenced by currency exchange rate movements, with rates for both the US dollar and, in particular, the Swiss Franc varying severely in relation to the Euro.

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