Against a background of moderate international economic development, Liebherr Group recorded a small overall fall in 2014 turnover to a total of €8.82bn (US$9.94bn), down 1.6% on the previous year, with profit for the year down €48m to €316m (US$356m).
While the construction machinery and mining division’s turnover of €5.29bn was 6% below the previous year, a more positive result was achieved by other divisions including maritime cranes, aerospace, transportation, machine tools and automation systems, with a 5.8% increase of €195m to €3.53bn.
According to a company statement, business in 2014 in Western Europe was satisfactory with Germany, the Group’s largest market, exceeding the previous year’s turnover. This pattern was repeated in North America, particularly in the USA. However, turnover dropped in the Far East/Australia region and very weak growth in Russia, the Group’s largest Eastern European market, had a distinct effect on the region’s overall turnover. Sales revenue also fell in Africa while in the Near and Middle East turnover was “slightly above the previous year’s level.”
The Liebherr Group anticipates that it will “probably benefit” from the 3.5% worldwide economic growth expected in the current business year although it recognises that growth “could be adversely affected by the political and economic conditions in Russia and the Eurozone, and also slower growth of the Chinese economy.”
Moreover, with the World Trade Organisation (WTO) forecasting 3.3% growth in world trade volumes it is likely “that worldwide production will grow more dynamically than in 2014.”
Accordingly Liebherr views the current year with optimism with total turnover expected to rise and all Group divisions expected to develop positively, or to at least equal last year’s turnover.