The numbers highlight a softening in the North American crane market, where overall sales of lifting equipment have fallen by 18% this year.

Sales of Manitowoc’s cranes and related products fell to $83.5m in the third quarter of this year, down from $95.5m for the same period last year. Operating profit in the cranes division was $12.8m for the quarter, a 28% fall on the the same quarter in 1999.

Group sales for the third quarter were down 1.4% to $211m.