Cramo’s revenues declined 5.6 percent in the first quarter to €140.3 million (about U.S. $192.4 million) compared to €148.5 million in the first quarter of 2013. EBITDA for the period was €27.8 million, compared to €29.7 million a year ago, a 6.4-percent drop.

The Finland-based international rental chain strengthened it construction equipment rental business in Finland through the acquisition of OptiRent in April, after the quarter ended.

The company said its expectation for 2014 is unchanged, with the company expecting revenues to increase.

“After a challenging start of the year, our performance started to improve in March,” said CEO Vesa Koivula. “As a result of the mild winter in January and February, the demand for heating services was exceptionally low, which affected our sales in the Nordic countries. However, it seems that, because of the mild winter, construction got off to a good start already in March, slightly earlier than usual. I expect the situation to develop favorably towards the end of the year, particularly in Sweden and Germany, where the growth forecasts for 2014 are good. In addition, there are positive signs in our other markets that growth will resume in 2014. Our result for the first quarter of 2014 did not entirely meet our expectations, but I believe that Cramo Group will reach its full-year performance goals.

“In order to ensure favorable profit development, we adjusted our costs, particularly in Sweden and Norway. Over the past few years, we have developed a flexible operating model, which enables rapid adjustments for example in the use of hired personnel. In addition, we optimized our depot network.”

Koivula added that he expects the rental market to resume growth during the summer and Cramo’s business operations to develop favorably from that point forward.

Cramo has operations in 15 northern and central European countries. It is headquartered in Vantaa, near Helsinki, Finland.