Lower crane sales dampened the earnings of Manitowoc Company Inc in the three months to 30 September 2002, chairman and chief executive officer Terry Growcock said.

However, the company as a whole saw both sales and profits rise in the quarter. Revenue was 36% up to $409.9m and earnings rose 18% to $14.7m.

‘While lower crane sales dampened our earnings during the quarter, our Foodservice and Marine segments posted results in-line with our expectations,’ Growcock said. ‘Our double-digit increases in sales, earnings, and cash flow demonstrate the strength of our diversified business model and strong management.’

‘Manitowoc continues to post record sales on a year-over-year basis,’ added Growcock. ‘While the majority of that gain is due to the acquisition of Potain and Grove, it is also important to note that we are gaining market share in all segments and, as a result, are seeing internal growth in many of our existing operations.’

For the third quarter, net sales for the Crane segment were $234.7m. This is a 54% increase on the third quarter of 2001, but only because of the Grove acquisition. Excluding Grove, sales were down 12%. Crane group earnings rose 4% to $20.1m, but excluding Grove results were down 29%. The company said that while demand for tower cranes and boom trucks ‘remained stable’, demand for crawler cranes continued to decline.

‘After outperforming the industry during the first two quarters, sales of our high-capacity crawler cranes began to decline at industry rates, which exceeded 10% during the third quarter,’ said Growcock. ‘To address this lower level of demand, we are sizing our operations to match the market’s current requirements, but are also intently focusing on new product development to spur future growth. Similarly, the Grove transition process is focused on addressing these same issues.’

Manitowoc’s new 660-U.S. ton capacity model 18000 will ship during the fourth quarter, and its new model 1015 foundation crane is already in the marketplace. Including Grove, Crane segment backlog stood at $139 million as of September 30, 2002. Excluding Grove, the backlog was $67 million as compared to $82 million at the end of the second quarter.