European rental giant Cramo was essentially flat in the second quarter with €159.8 million (about U.S. $213.6 million) in sales, compared to €160.1 million in the second quarter of 2013, a 0.2-percent decrease. EBITDA was €12.5 million, compared to €16.5 million in the year-ago quarter.

 For the first six months of 2014, sales totaled €300 million, compared to €308.6 million in the first six months of 2013, a 2,8-percent drop. EBITDA declined from €22.9 million a year ago to €16.8 million.

“After a challenging start to the year, the rental market started to pick up gradually during the second quarter,” said Cramo CEO Vesa Koivula. “The recovery was slower than we expected, but nevertheless, signs of growth could be seen in different markets. I am particularly satisfied about our performance in Finland, but also with the development of demand in the Swedish and Danish markets in the second quarter. Our result for the second quarter of 2014 did not meet our expectations, but I believe that Cramo Group will reach its full-year performance goals.

“We have performance improvement actions in place in several countries and I also expect demand for rental services to improve during the rest of the year.”

Cramo officials said Eurozone economies are expected to resume growth in 2014, but the first half of 2014 recovery was slower than expected, exacerbated by the Ukraine crisis, which has affected the Russian and Ukraine markets. The company expects more solid growth in the second half. European Rental Association forecasts call for equipment rental to increase in all of Cramo’s main markets in 2014.

Based in Vantaa, near Helsinki, Finland, Cramo operates in 15 counties and has 360 branches.