Diversification buffers Liebherr in 2009

23 April 2010


Family-owned and run construction machinery manufacturer Liebherr said a ‘broad diversification in terms of both products and markets’ stabilised the company during the economic turmoil of 2009.

Reporting its full-year results for 2009, Liebherr said total sales revenue dropped by 16.9%, or €1,422m, to €6,986m.

Total turnover from construction machinery fell by €1,505.9m to €4,105.8m, due to a decline in its construction crane, mixing technology, mining and earthmoving divisions.

Sales revenue from construction cranes and mixing technology declined by €487.9m, or 48.7%, to €514.1m, while the earthmoving and mining divisions saw turnover fall €881.7m, 32.6%, to €1,825.1m. Turnover from mobile cranes fell by €136.3m, 7.2%, to €1,766.6m.

These results contributed to the percentage of turnover derived from Liebherr’s construction machinery divisions declining from 66.7% to 58.6%.

Product divisions away from construction saw turnover climb €83.9m to €2,880.2m.

This included maritime cranes, which saw turnover up €46m to €673.7m, as well as the aerospace and transportation systems divisions. Other products and services, such as drive components and hotels, also recorded growth.

However, sales revenue derived from refrigerators and freezers, and machine tools and material flow technology, was down.

Diverse global markets also provided Liebherr with some scope for positivity. Certain markets remained down, like Western Europe, where sales revenue declined by €943m, or 20.4%, to €3,688.2m. In Eastern Europe, group turnover dropped 40.2%, equivalent to €344.9m, to €512.5m. Sales revenues in Africa and America also failed to reach the same level as 2008, down €52.3m and €251.4m respectively.

However, in the Near and Middle East, Liebherr sales climbed 41.8%, or €172.4m, to €585.2m. Far East and Australian results remained stable, falling just 0.3% or €2.8m. ‘Strong growth in the People’s Republic of China was a most gratifying feature’, Liebherr added.


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