Wacker Neuson reported a record rise in revenue for the first quarter of 2017, jumping 7 percent from €316.4 million in the first quarter of 2016 to €338.5 million this year. EBIT, however, declined from €17.5 million in the year-ago quarter to €14.3 million this year.

At the close of the first quarter, order intake and backlog showed a clear rise over the previous year.

Wacker Neuson reported a 13-percent revenue increase in the Americas region. The Europe region, which accounts for the largest share of Group revenue at 73 percent, leaped 9 percent in the first quarter.

“The year has got off to a very promising start for our Group,” said CEO Cem Peksaglam. “The investment mood among many national and international customers in most of our target industries was very positive. This pushed our revenue to a new record high for a first quarter.”

In regard to North America, Peksaglam said: “Demand in the oil and gas sector in North America remained weak. However, we benefited from stronger demand in other areas, in particular the construction industry. Moving beyond persistent problems with the start-up of our skid-steer loader production, these machines were now once again able to contribute to growth in the region during the first quarter. Business in South America also showed positive momentum as anticipated, with the region reporting double-digit gains.”

In the Asia-Pacific region, which only accounts for 3 percent of the company’s total revenue, revenue fell by 45 percent year over year. The large decrease was because of a one-off effect in the first quarter of 2016 linked to dealers in China stocking up on compact equipment, which almost doubled revenue for the country at that time. Business in Australia and New Zealand developed positively, with both countries posting high double-digit revenue growth for the first quarter of 2017.

Revenue in the light equipment segment increased year over year by more than 7 percent. Sales of compaction equipment were particularly strong in Europe. And revenue in the compact equipment segment jumped by almost 7 percent. Revenues hiked 8 percent year over year in the repair and spare-parts business.

Peksaglam was bullish regarding the company’s prospects for the year.

“We expect the projected trend in our business to continue throughout 2017,” he said. “Our optimism is strengthened by the current healthy order situation, positive trends in our core markets of Europe and the U.S., a more upbeat investment mood in the agricultural sector, growing business momentum in South America and a gradual recovery in markets dependent on the price of raw materials such as Australia.”

At the end of the first quarter, accumulated order intake for compact equipment was about 11 percent higher than at the end of Q116. Order backlog was 22 percent higher year over year.

The executive board expects revenue for fiscal 2017 to reach between €1.4 billion and €1.45 billion.