European rental giant Ramirent posted net sales of €151.8 million (about U.S. $203.6 million) in the second quarter, a 5.6-percent decrease compared to the second quarter last year. EBITDA for the period was €16.2 million compared to €22.7 million in the year-ago quarter. The company attributed the decreases to weak demand in most of its markets.
For the first six months of the year, Ramirent’s volume dropped 7.7 percent to €289.3 million.
“Slower than expected sales of equipment rental continued in many of our markets in the second quarter 2014,” said Ramirent CEO Magnus Rosen. “Second quarter net sales decreased by 2.1 percent at comparable exchange rates. Second quarter EBITDA was below the previous year level at an unsatisfactory 10.7 percent.
“Lower than expected demand and slow progress in the start-up of new projects impacted negatively on sales in Sweden. Our profitability in Norway was impaired by low demand from residential construction, decreased fleet utilization and increased pricing pressure. In Finland, acquisitions and recovering market demand supported sales growth. Demand picked up in the Baltic States and Poland and we have relocated fleet capacity to these markets during the first half of the year.”
Rosen added that construction remained soft in Denmark, the Czech Republic and Slovakia.
Ramirent, based in Vantaa, near Helsinki, Finland, is active in 10 European countries.