Strongco, one of Canada’s largest equipment distributors and a leading rental player, posted CDN $135.9 million (about U.S. $124 million) in total revenue for the second quarter, compared to $140.2 million a year ago, a 3.1-percent decrease. However, product support revenue increased 5 percent to $36.7 million. Strongco’s president and CEO Bob Dryburgh said challenging weather conditions that extended well into May curtailed construction activity across the country and limited oil-field access delaying purchasing decisions by customers.

“The difficult winter exacerbated the already weakened market situation in eastern Canada causing a further market decline and affecting sales of construction equipment and cranes,” Dryburgh said.. “Crane sales were also down in Alberta, compared to a much stronger market in 2013. However, sales of other heavy equipment in western Canada and the eastern United States largely offset these short-term pauses in the market.”

Rental revenues for the second quarter were $5.7 million, down 25 percent from 2013.

Dryburgh said the company expects a better second half, noting that warmer and dryer temperatures in June resulted in improved quoting activity and order backlogs.

“Management anticipates that heavy equipment markets across the country will generally follow construction activity, with the possibility of some catch-up in the second half in some regions,” he said. Most economists continue to forecast modest growth for Canada overall in 2014 with construction markets remaining active. Growth is expected to be strongest in Alberta, led by robust activity in the oil sector, and weakest in Quebec where activity continues to be stifled by the ongoing investigation of corruption in the construction industry.

Based in Mississauga, Ontario, Strongco represents Volvo Construction Equipment, Case Construction, Manitowoc Cranes, Terex Trucks, Takeuchi and a number of other brands. The company is active in rental and is No. 66 on the RER 100.