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RECORD high automation orders was a highlight for Cargotec in the 2018 calendar year, according to chief executive Mika Vehviläinen.

But Mr Vehviläinen also noted profit setbacks, with a previous market guidance having to be lowered during December.

“We made good progress with service revenue, proceeded well with our automation orders at Kalmar, and Hiab’s order intake was at a record high level,” the chief executive said in a market statement.

“MacGregor (another affiliate) fought against tough market conditions and, excluding restructuring costs, kept its business at a break-even level.

“We made important acquisitions during the year. The Effer loader cranes business complements Hiab’s portfolio and expands its heavy cranes segment.”

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Mr Vehviläinen said they also allocated substantial resources to develop digital capabilities.

But he also acknowledged setbacks.

“In terms of profitability, 2018 did not go as planned, and we were forced to lower our 2018 guidance in mid-December,” Mr Vehviläinen said.

“This was mainly due to exceptional challenges in our supply chain and delivery. Our cost management also needs specific attention. We are already addressing these issues and will continue this work during 2019.”

He said demand for Kalmar’s mobile equipment and services improved compared with the previous year.

“At Cargotec, we firmly believe that a profitable and sustainable business requires ethical ways of working,” Mr Vehviläinen said.

“Our customers, employees, the society at large and regulators all place increasing value on and pay ever more attention to the ethical, environmental and social aspects of conducting business.”

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