First quarter net sales declined 10 percent year over year for Finland-based international rental giant Ramirent, declining from €152.8 million a year ago to €137.5 million (about U.S. $189.1 million).

The company expects modest growth in 2014, with mixed construction demand expected in the 10 European countries where Ramirent does business.

“Markets developed largely in line with our expectations in the first quarter,” said Ramirent CEO Magnus Rosen. “In Finland and Norway, slower construction activity impacted negatively on operations. In Sweden, net sales decreased mainly due to some larger projects ending in the first quarter. The demand for equipment rental improved in Denmark, Poland and the Baltic states in the first quarter based on increasing construction activity and stable demand from industrial sectors.

“We remain focused on improving efficiency and our competitive position. Implementation of specific actions to reach the targeted Group EBITA margin level of 17 percent by the end of 2016 continued in the first quarter. Integrated solutions provided to all customer sectors and improved operational excellence through the common Ramirent platform are key measures to reach the goal. We are improving pricing management, optimizing a customer center network, improving fleet utilization rates and the governance of sourcing operations.”

The company also announced a renewed brand promise: “Ramirent is More Than Machines.” The new brand promise clarifies its value proposition of delivering sustainable solutions that offer efficiency improvement possibilities to customers through the competence and experience of its people combined with high quality equipment and the right services, Rosen said.

Ramirent is based in Vantaa, near Helsinki, Finland.