Manitou Group reported first quarter revenues of €461 million (about U.S. $546.9 million), a 21-percent increase compared to the first quarter of 2017. First quarter order intake on equipment was €554 million compared to €433 million in the first quarter of 2017, a 27.9-percent year-over-year boost.

At the end of the first quarter, a record level of order book on equipment was €870 million compared to €461 million at the end of Q117. Manitou expects sales to increase more than 15 percent in 2018 compared with 2017, and an improvement in recurring operating income of about 80 basis points year over year.

“With a 21-percent increase in sales revenue, the Group achieved a new quarterly record,” said Michel Denis, president and CEO. “Manitou took full advantage of favorable market trends across all geographical regions and business sectors, and of the new product ranges success. Order intake equaled the record of Q4 2017, which meant that we closed the quarter with an order book at a record high of €870 million.

“In partnership with our suppliers, we are increasing our production rate to meet demand and reduce our delivery times. Our ramp-up was tempered by the difficulties experienced by certain suppliers in supporting this effort, without jeopardizing our overall growth dynamic. Above and beyond the adaptation efforts required to increase production, strong market demand had an inflationary effect on the price of raw materials and components. Manitou is passing on these increases to its customers, but over an extended period of time, because of the depth of our order book.”

In the Americas, Manitou increased sales by 7 percent from €72 million to €77 million. The biggest growth was in the Asia Pacific region, jumping 56 percent from €33 million to €52 million. Northern Europe jumped 37 percent from €128 million to €176 million and southern Europe rose 7 percent from €148 million to €157 million.

The Material Handling & Access Division posted a 24-percent increase year over year. There was a general expansion of activity across all geographic regions, prompting the manufacturing sites to organize to keep pace with increased volumes.

Compact Equipment Products increased sales 25 percent, with business in North America growing sharply, particularly with strong demand from rental companies in North America and the success of the development of its Indian products. The Services & Solutions Division recorded a 7 percent increase in revenue year over year.