14.05.2020

Manitex holds steady

US based crane and aerial work platform manufacturer Manitex has posted its first quarter results.

Total revenues for the quarter were $48.73 million, down 8.2 percent on the same quarter last year, with $3 million of the $4.4 million decline due to Covid-19 closures, particularly in Italy. Although the company says that PM loader crane and platform sales were at record levels. The backlog/order book at the end of March was $57 million 12 percent lower than at the same point in 2019.

Last year’s pre-tax profit of $1.5 million was converted to a $6.64 million loss this year, mostly due to a $6.64 million write down of ‘goodwill and intangibles’. Manitex International includes, PM loader cranes, Valla Pick & carry cranes, Oil & Steel platforms, Manitex boom trucks and truck cranes, as well as Badger Rough Terrains.

Chief executive Steve Filipov said: “Our commitment to the health and safety of our employees, customers, and business partners, is the first priority for us and we have taken every necessary step to keep our facilities clean and safe during the Covid-19 pandemic. The team delivered another solid quarter in what continues to be a very challenging business environment. PM Group remains a very bright spot in our portfolio, and we have made notable progress towards our goal of achieving higher levels of penetration in the global articulating cranes market. As we announced in our annual update in March, we started 2020 with robust demand for PM products, but unfortunately with the outbreak of Covid-19 in Italy, we were forced to temporarily halt production at our Italian facilities on March 21st, with employees being told to stay home. After a 30 day hiatus, we have since reopened and resumed production as of April 21. And even with these limitations, we delivered higher revenues and improved Adjusted EBITDA, both sequentially and year over year, and the backlog, at approximately $28 million, gives us visibility, all things equal, for a year of solid growth for PM, with healthy double digit margins that approach our long term targets.”

“Turning to our North American operations, we had a slower start to the year and were able to make up some of the shortfall in March. Our operations remained opened during the pandemic, which has allowed us to deliver on our backlog, and as you may know, Texas is a particularly industry friendly state and did not issue mandatory shut down orders. Thus far, we have not experienced any Covid-19 cases in our North American facilities. Manitex straight mast crane delivered a quarter in line with our expectations, which also, as we have commented, was tempered by lower unit volume/shipments that have trended throughout the industry, and we do see some slowing in orders in stick boom cranes and industrial products, as we look forward into 2020.”

“We have now reopened our facilities in Italy and are now delivering cranes, parts, and services to our customers. While we had no cancellations or postponements from our customers in the quarter, and that is a notable difference from other downturns we’ve seen in the past, the situation remains difficult to forecast and we are taking every measure to reduce costs, conserve cash, and generate cash from operations. We have taken a number of measures globally to furlough employees, reduce work schedules, minimise capital expenditures, while operating within all the local laws and regulations and health and safety codes.”

“I am confident in our dedicated and diligent team, and we will navigate through this uncertainty by keeping focused on our customers, controlling our costs, and maintaining our liquidity.”

Vertikal Comment

This is overall a positive set of numbers from Manitex which would have almost broken even had it not take the goodwill impairment, to achieve this when the Italian market was so devastated for much of the quarter is pretty good.

In the past the company would have been heavily dependent on the oil & gas sector – which is not looking too hot at the moment, but according to Manitex it now only represents around 10 percent of revenues.

Given that Italy is now moving back to some sort of normality we might see a second quarter that is not too dissimilar to the first? Which in this period would be excellent.

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