Corporate governance

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Interview the Chief Operating Officer : Alexandre Saubot

What is your assessment of 2016?

The year that ended was marked by several key trends:

Firstly, the aerial work platform market continued to grow in volume in 2016, with a product mix driven by small machines.

Secondly, trends were mixed across the different regions:

  •  The European market experienced strong growth, bolstered by the capital spending of equipment rental companies,
  •  The North American market showed signs slowing down at the end of the year,
  •  The Asia-Pacific region displayed mixed performances in terms of growth with positive momentum from emerging countries offset by slowdowns in the Middle East.

In Latin America, the current economic turmoil contributed to declines in all countries of this region.

In this mixed global environment, we successfully launched our new products and our service and financing offers that met with a very favourable response from our customers.

And finally, the foreign exchange environment remained favourable for the Group with the exception of the GBP.

Impacted by competitive pressure, our current operating income (excluding currency effects) declined 15% and net income 5.1%. The Group net debt of the Group was reduced by €3.9 million (excluding guarantees).

If I were to summarise 2016, I would say that it was a year that offered encouraging signs and positive trends for 2017.

 
What are the challenges and outlook for the year 2017?

Bolstered by business momentum at the start of the year, mainly in Europe, our Group expects growth in revenue of more than 5% in 2017. This should permit a return to a current operating margin approaching 7%, despite the expected increase in raw material prices.

Our main challenges for 2017 remain largely focused on

  •  The success of our business objectives:
  •  Strengthening our market share in Asia-Pacific, Europe and Latin America
  •  Pursuing our business development efforts in the US market
  •  Successfully launching our 2017 Products & Services Solutions
  •  Containing competitive pressure by strengthening our value proposition
  •  The continuation of our actions to position the Group as a provider of 360 ° solutions
  •  Optimizing our cost price
  • Optimizing our working capital

Innovating and becoming a Business Partner for our customers, this is what drives us!