Konecranes has recorded a steady growth for 2018, with a significant 26.9% year-on-year increase in order intake for the fourth quarter mostly attributed to two large orders.
The two orders were 54 automated rail-mounted gantry cranes (ARMGs) to Khalifa Port in Abu Dhabi, announced in October, and an order for a single large process crane.
Order intake for the whole year equated to €3,090.3m (US$3,509.1m), an overall increase of 2.8%, while service order intake rose 2.1% to €986.5m (US$1,129.1m) although sales only increased by 0.6%.
President and CEO of Konecranes, Panu Routila, said: “We continued to make steady progress towards our targets in 2018, which is reflected in our group adjusted Earnings Before Interest, Taxes and Amortisation (EBITA) margin that improved to 9.4% in the fourth quarter.
For the full year of 2018, the adjusted EBITA increased to 8.1% and equated to €257.1m (US$291.9m).
According to Konecranes, global container throughput is on a healthy level, although the growth has decelerated and the prospects for orders related to container handling remain stable.
As one of the only foreign vendors in its industry with local manufacturing in the UK, any Brexit outcome that could potentially negatively impact the UK economy is also likely to have a negative impact on Konecranes.
Routila said: “While our local presence can potentially be a relative benefit to us in the case of a hard Brexit, we are confident that the scaling-down of our UK operations in 2018, as part of our integration activities, was rightly timed.”
Any impact to the manufacturer as a whole is expected to be limited, regardless of the Brexit outcome.
Outside of the UK, Routila claimed that the demand environment is still “at a good level” in many parts of Europe and North America and he expects a faster sales growth in 2019.