The Wacker Neuson Group posted €370.5 million in the first quarter of 2018 (about U.S. $439 million) compared to €338.5 million in the first quarter of 2018, a 9.5-percent increase. All regions and business segments reported a rise in revenue. The growth was primarily driven by continued rising demand in the North American and European construction markets as well as strong performance from the Weidemann and Kramer brands in the agriculture sector.

Europe is the largest market for the Group, accounting for 72 percent of the business. Revenue rose 8 percent in Europe to €268 million in the first quarter compared to €248 million in the same period in 2017. Revenue in the Americas grew 13.6 percent from €81 million to €92 million.

“In the U.S., we benefitted from a number of trends, including increased investments from rental chains stocking up on worksite technology such as generators and heaters,” said Martin Lehner, CEO of Wacker Neuson. “Our performance was also bolstered by strong sales of our U.S.-produced skid-steer loaders."

Wacker Neuson did quite well in the Asia Pacific region, jumping 16 percent to €11 million. Growth was particularly strong in China, where the Group began production of mini-excavators in January of this year.

Profit before interest and tax (EBIT) grew 61 percent to €23 million in the first quarter, compared to €14 million a year ago. The rise in revenue and an improved cost structure had a positive impact on earnings. However, profit was also dampened by a more unfavorable regional and product mix and production delays.

Increased raw material prices, higher personnel and transport costs as well as new environmental, health and safety regulations for equipment have driven up costs for the company. To maintain its capabilities, Wacker Neuson will be increasing sales prices across all product segments and brands as of July 1, but only passing on part of the cost increases to customers.

The company said it generated great interest in its new electric excavators and vibratory plates at the Intermat Show in Paris.

Wacker Neuson confirmed its guidance for fiscal 2018 and expects revenue to rise by 8 to 11 percent to between €1.65 and €1.7 billion for the full year.