Manitowoc Co. posted fourth quarter 2015 sales of $934.8, a 9.8-percent decrease compared to the fourth quarter of 2014, when total sales equaled $1 billion. The crane segment dropped 18.1 percent to $543.1 million compared to $663.2 million in Q414. The decline was largely the result of weakness in rough terrain crane and boom truck sales because of declining oil prices and its impact across energy-related end markets.        

The decline was partially offset by strength in crawler cranes driven by accelerating shipments of Manitowoc’s VPC technology. Also there was solid demand for tower cranes because of improving residential and commercial construction markets, particularly in Europe.

Crane operating earnings for the fourth quarter were $24.1 million, down from $45.3 million in the same period a year ago. The operating margin was 4.4 percent in the fourth quarter compared to 6.8 percent a year ago.

For the full year, crane revenue slid 19.1 percent to $1.9 billion, and operating earnings plunged to $64.3 million compared to $163.9 million in 2014.

“During the quarter, we saw pockets of better demand within our all-terrain category fueled by our new five-axle GMK5250L,” said new CEO Barry Pennypacker. “However, the overall business remains challenged by an uncertain macro-economic environment.”

Pennypacker added that Manitowoc Cranes assumes no improvement in the global economic backdrop in 2016, but modest stabilization in demand.