Manitowoc Reports Gain in Crane Backlog for 2010

The Manitowoc Co., Manitowoc, Wis., reported sales of $830.9 million for the fourth quarter of 2010, up 4.1 percent the fourth quarter of 2009. The company’s crane segment contributed a 2.3 percent increase in sales, and its backlog marked an increase of 27.7 percent from the previous quarter.

The company reported a loss of $63.8 million in the fourth quarter versus a net loss of $23.5 million in the fourth quarter of 2009. Excluding special items, the adjusted earnings from continuing operations were $15.0 million in the fourth quarter of 2010. For the full-year 2010, sales were $3.1 billion, a 13.2 percent decline from $3.6 billion in 2009. The net loss in 2010 was $71.4 million, or $0.55 per share, versus a loss of $704.2 million, or $5.41 per share, in the prior year. Excluding the special items, net earnings from continuing operations in 2010 were $19.8 million, or $0.15 per share, versus $38.4 million, or $0.29 per share, in 2009.

“The unrelenting focus on our initiatives during the downturn has left Manitowoc much better positioned to capitalize on new opportunities and further extend our leadership position amid recovering end markets,” said Glen E. Tellock, chairman and CEO. “In the face of continuing market uncertainty, we set aggressive targets for the company in 2010, and through the hard work and tireless execution by our people, we achieved nearly all of our goals.”

In the fourth quarter, the company experienced year-over-year sales growth, which Tellock attributes to continued strong performance in foodservice and early signs of recovery in the company’s crane segment. “We are optimistic about the recovery signs we’re seeing, and through continued focus on our initiatives and operating objectives, we are looking forward to continued sales and profitability growth in 2011,” he added.

Fourth-quarter 2010 net sales in the crane segment were $491.4 million, up 2.3 percent from $480.3 million in the fourth quarter of 2009, and up 12.0 percent from third-quarter 2010 sales of $438.8 million, according to the company.

Crane segment operating earnings for the fourth quarter of 2010 increased to $30.4 million from $18.3 million in the same period last year and $16.1 million in the third quarter of 2010. The result was an operating margin of 6.2 percent for the fourth quarter of 2010, up from 3.8 percent in the same period in 2009, and 3.7 percent in the third quarter of 2010.

As of December 31, 2010, the company’s crane backlog recorded a 27.7-percent increase from the previous quarter. The company attributes the increase to a solid ramp-up in demand, across all end markets and most product lines, throughout the fourth quarter.

“Exceptionally strong order rates toward the end of the fourth quarter drove year-over-year and sequential sales growth for our crane segment. North America and Europe are beginning to show signs of modest recovery, and we’re encouraged by new orders from dealers that are beginning to replenish their inventories, said Tellock. Strong operating margins for the quarter resulted in full-year margins previous trough years, he said, adding that while the company is encouraged by the increasing demand toward the end of 2010, it expects potential volatility in orders during 2011 as end markets regain their footing.

“We enter 2011 as a much stronger organization,” said Tellock. “With our foodservice integration complete and the belief that 2010 was the trough year for cranes, we view the next 12 months as a transition year for Manitowoc. As such, we anticipate year-over-year growth for both of our operating segments for the first time since 2008.”