Helsinki, Finland-based Ramirent posted a net sales increase of 28 percent for 2006, rising to [Euro] $497.9 million, or U.S. $653.9 million. EBITDA grew 60.2 percent to € 171.6 million (U.S. $224 million) and operating profit leaped 90.7 percent to € 110.3 million (U.S. $144.9 million).
Ramirent operates in the Nordic, Eastern and Central European markets. The company has 288 branches in 12 countries. Even with strong construction rates in 2006, growing about 6 percent in the Nordic region and even faster in Eastern and Central Europe, rental industry growth outpaced it, the company said. Rental demand has grown particularly strong in the Eastern and Central European countries where Ramirent operates — Russia, the Baltic states, Poland, Hungary, Ukraine and the Czech Republic.
Favorable weather and market conditions contributed to a strong fourth quarter for Ramirent, with net sales increasing 29.4 percent year-over-year to € 146.2 million (U.S. $192 million). The growth was strongest in Ramirent Europe (67.4 percent net sales growth year over year) and Finland (27.8 percent).
In Finland, the rental market on shipyards and industry increased and the company’s market position was strengthened by new acquisitions. Increased investment in new product groups and new branch openings strengthened Ramirent’s operations in Sweden. Norway’s growth was attributed to increased net sales and higher utilization, while Denmark had very strong margins because of an increase in re-renting.
The company expects a strong 2007, with 3 percent construction growth in the Nordic companies, supported by large backlogs in the largest construction companies. Ramirent expects increasing penetration in 2007, with rental utilization again outpacing the growth of construction.