The Manitowoc Co. last week reported sales of $1.1 billion for the fourth quarter of 2012, an increase of 10 percent compared to sales of $1.0 billion in the fourth quarter of 2011. The sales increase was driven by an 11.6-percent hike increase in Crane segment sales, coupled with a 6.7-percent increase in Foodservice segment sales.

On a GAAP basis, the company reported net earnings of $34.5 million, or $0.26 per diluted share, in the fourth quarter versus earnings of $14.9 million, or $0.11 per diluted share, in the fourth quarter of 2011. Both periods included special items. Excluding special items, the adjusted earnings from continuing operations were $35.4 million, or $0.27 per diluted share, in the fourth quarter of 2012, versus adjusted earnings of $18.9 million, or $0.14 per diluted share, in the fourth quarter of 2011. GAAP earnings per share in the quarter benefited from the release of an $11.6-million reserve as a result of a favorable tax audit outcome, which contributed to a full-year effective tax rate of 29 percent.

For the full-year 2012, sales were $3.9 billion, an 8.5-percent increase from $3.6 billion in 2011. GAAP net income in 2012 was $101.7 million, or $0.76 per share, versus a GAAP net loss of $11.2 million, or $0.08 per share, in the prior year.

“We finished 2012 on a strong note,” said Glen Tellock, Manitowoc’s chairman and CEO. “The steadfast execution against our strategic initiatives drove another quarter of positive sales growth and margin improvement, while our full-year results matched our revenue and earnings expectations. These results also demonstrated our ability to effectively manage our global businesses despite macroeconomic challenges.”

Fourth-quarter 2012 net sales in the Crane segment were $767.2 million, up 11.6 percent from $687.6 million in the fourth quarter of 2011, driven primarily by continued strong activity in the Americas region, as well as higher demand in emerging markets.

Crane segment operating earnings for the fourth quarter of 2012 were $56.3 million, compared to $38.8 million in the same period last year. This resulted in an operating margin of 7.3 percent for the fourth quarter of 2012, up from 5.6 percent in the same period in 2011. Fourth-quarter 2012 earnings were spurred by higher sales volume and operational efficiencies. Crane segment backlog totaled $756 million as of Dec. 31, a slight decrease from $761 million in the prior-year quarter. Fourth-quarter 2012 orders of $544 million were 19-percent lower than the fourth quarter of 2011. However, second-half 2012 orders were essentially flat in comparison with second-half 2011.

“During the quarter we saw continued strength in the Americas region, coupled with positive performance in several emerging markets, including Brazil, Greater Asia/Pacific, and Africa,” Tellock said. “Our initiatives to drive meaningful margin expansion and take advantage of expected growth trends globally continue to take shape.”

Headquartered in Manitowoc, Wis., The Manitowoc Co. is a multi-industry, capital goods manufacturer with more than 115 manufacturing, distribution and service facilities in 26 countries.