French access manufacturer Haulotte has reported strong growth in
sales through the last quarter of 2010 and into the start of this year. Chief
operating officer Alexandre Saubot said that the aerial work platform market
grew by 30% last year, mainly in the US, Australian and Brazilian markets. The
Haulotte Group turned over US$286 million in 2009, rising to US$354 million in
2010, growth of 23.8%.
However despite a 25% rise in income, the group continued to make an
operating loss. But Saubot is expecting a better performance in 2011. “There
are obvious signs of growth which should enable us to break even again this
year,” he said.
As demand has increased the company has been working hard with
suppliers, as rental companies in particular return to the market. “We will be
back to almost normal production by mid-April,” said Saubot.
Haulotte has announced that it will build a new parts, service and
training centre in Frederick, Maryland, to support customers in the Americas.
This will include a call centre offering technical support. The company is also
planning to increase the number of models that it builds in its US plant, to
keep production close to the customer. The plan is to reach a 10% market share
in North America within the next few years.
Haulotte started building telescopic handlers in 2007, but these for
now will continue to be focussed on European demand. The firm has big plans
here too though. “Our focus is on Europe where we have two models, a 46ft (14m)
and a 56ft (17m), but we will be launching a 33ft (10m) model in the spring,”
He went on to add that telehandlers will become increasingly
important for Haulotte over the next three to five years, and that the company
could consider acquisition as a way to speed its progress in the telescopic