Konecranes PLC issues its Q4 and full year 2012 financial statement and bulletin.
Excerpts from the statement made by President and CEO Pekka Lundmark:
I am pleased with many aspects of our performance in 2012. In a marketplace where uncertainty and customers' hesitation to make decisions has become the new norm, a 14 percent growth in sales to a new record level of EUR 2,170 million was a good achievement.
Operating profit before restructuring costs rose by 18 percent to EUR 138 million and earnings per share 32 percent to EUR 1.46. Cash flow was strong, reducing our gearing to below 40 percent. All in all, 2012 was a good year, but we aim higher.
A year ago, we decided that our service business should prioritize profitability over growth in the short term. The reason was clear: heavy investments in growth, combined with execution issues, had resulted in an EBIT margin of only 7.0 percent in 2011.
The profitability of the equipment business developed satisfactorily in a challenging market environment during the first three quarters of 2012, but the last quarter was weaker. There were both market structure issues, such as low industrial cranes demand in some Western markets, and various operational issues. We are now prioritizing profitability over growth in the equipment business in the same way that we did in the service business a year ago. We announced restructuring measures at the beginning of the year, with the main objective of reallocating resources from Western markets to emerging ones.