Manitowoc, Wis.-based The Manitowoc Co. last week reported its financial results for the quarter ended March 31. For the quarter, the company once again set records for net sales and earnings per share as each of the company’s three business segments showed solid improvements in net sales and operating earnings from the first quarter of 2007. For the latest quarter, net sales totaled $1.08 billion, an increase of 25 percent from the first quarter of 2007. Reported earnings per diluted share were $0.78 for the first quarter of 2008 compared to $0.50 for the first quarter of 2007.
“The Manitowoc Company’s strong performance continues across all our businesses, generating strong financial results for our shareholders,” said Glen Tellock, Manitowoc’s president and CEO. “Manitowoc’s Crane segment is one of the world’s leading providers of lift solutions, and that segment is capitalizing on very strong global demand for construction equipment.”
First-quarter 2008 net sales in the Crane segment increased 30 percent to $884.4 million compared to the first quarter of 2007, building on a solid track record of improved year-over-year results. Operating earnings for the first quarter of 2008 increased 40 percent to $134.6 million, from $96.2 million in the same period last year.
“Our Crane segment’s performance reflects its strong global footprint and broad product line,” said Tellock. “Global demand for innovative, high-capacity lift equipment continues to be very strong.
“During the quarter we also expanded our ability to serve the growing truck crane market in Asia. We have acquired a joint venture interest in TaiAn Dongyue Heavy Machinery Co., Ltd., a major player in the Chinese mobile hydraulic crane industry. China is by far the world’s largest market for truck cranes, and we’ll leverage our existing technology in that category with our established Chinese partner to take part in this growing market.”
Crane backlog totaled $3.3 billion at March 31, up 72 percent from March 31. The backlog growth was driven by increased customer bookings in all geographic markets and in nearly all product categories. Growth was particularly strong in Europe and the Middle East, where the company’s high-capacity lifting equipment supports high-growth energy and infrastructure projects.
“We are affirming our current guidance of 2008 earnings per share to be in a range of $3.20 to $3.40, excluding any unusual items,” said Tellock.
The Manitowoc Co. is one of the world’s largest providers of lifting equipment for the global construction industry, including lattice-boom cranes, tower cranes, mobile telescopic cranes, and boom trucks.