What is your assessment of 2014?
The global market for aerial work platforms in 2014 was sustained by all continents with the exception of Latin America. In this context, Haulotte Group’s revenue was up 20% from 2013 driven by the Asia-Pacific region (+33%), Europe (+29%) and North America(+28%).
The Services activity showed positive growth momentum over the entire period (+13% for thefull year), and highlighting a better utilization rate for our machines among our equipment rental company customers.
Excluding currency gains and losses, current operating income as a percentage of sales rose to 7.7%, up from 5.2% for 2013. This improvement is mainly attributable to the impact of additional volumes on the gross margin, continuing improvements in manufacturing performances and growing contributions from services.
Operating profit also registered strong growth, reaching €38 million, benefiting from the dollar’s significant rise against the euro at the end of the period. On that basis, net income reached €29 million, its highest level since 2008, which would seem to confirm that the crisis is now behind us. As in 2013, this will result in the distribution of a dividend, this year set at €0.22 per share, confirming our confidence in the strength of our Group, and faith in its outlook that remain positive.
What are the challenges and outlook for the year 2015?
2015 will be decisive for our Group with the crisis appearing to be behind us, and ultimately beneficial by making us even more determined.
It strengthened the resolve of our teams, regardless of their area, to lay foundations for the future with even greater rigor, professionalism and determination. 2015 will also mark the celebration of our Group’s 30th anniversary and demonstrate our capacity to renew, and surpass conventional standards with the launch of five new products. As such, 2015 will no doubt be a landmark year for our Group. A year that will count in the subsequent chapters of its history to be written over the next 30 years.