Canadian distributor Strongco posted $361.3 million in 2016 revenues compared to $384 million, a 6.1-percent decrease during a year in which the company sold its U.S. subsidiary Chadwick-BaRoss Inc. for $12.4 million. In the fourth quarter revenues totaled $81.2 million compared to $101.4 million in the fourth quarter of 2015, a 19.9-percent slide. Sales of several large cranes to a project in Quebec in the fourth quarter of 2015 were not repeated in Q416.

Equipment rental for 2016 totaled $15.4 million, compared to $18.8 million in 2015, an 18 percent dip.

“2018 was a challenging year for Strongco, but saw meaningful progress in our efforts to streamline and stabilize the business,” said Robert Beutel,” executive chairman of Strongco. “As weak markets persist, we now have a much younger and more focused inventory, a more sustainable cost structure and a stronger balance sheet. Management believes the actions taken set the stage for greater profitability going forward, regardless of market conditions. We remain confident that financial stability, along with exceptional customer service and a greater focus on core world-class suppliers, will enhance our position, positively impact cash flow and deliver greater value over the long term.”

Strongco said that rental revenue in Canada was lower in 2016 primarily because of reduced rental activity in Western Canada with continuing weak market conditions in Alberta. Rental activity remained strong in Central Canada, but Strongco’s rental revenue in the region was down slightly as rentals to certain large projects in 2015 were not repeated in 2016. In Eastern Canada, Strongco’s rental revenue increased slightly compared to 2015 with stronger rental activity in Quebec as economic conditions began to recover in the province.

Management anticipates continued challenging market conditions in 2017. While oil prices experienced a slight uptick to around $50 per barrel, it has done little to stimulate activity in Northern Alberta. After the wild fires in the second quarter of 2016, rebuilding activity has begun in the Fort McMurray area, but otherwise construction activity in that region remains weak. Construction activity in 2016 was more buoyant in Ontario, but still remains on a smaller scale. Overall markets for heavy equipment across Canada are likely to remain soft in 2017.

Based in Mississauga, Ontario, Strongco is No. 82 on the RER 100.