The company reported that second-quarter 2007 net sales in the crane segment increased 41 percent to $805.1m, from $570m in the second quarter of 2006. Operating earnings for the second quarter of 2007 increased 59% to $120.2m from $75.6m in the same period last year. Backlog totalled $2.1bn at June 30, 2007, up nearly $1bn, or 85%, from June 30, 2006.

Manitowoc president and CEO Glenn Tellock said, “Global demand for our entire line of lifting solutions continues to be very robust. Our strategy of moving production closer to the end user continues to pay dividends as our booking rates and backlog remain strong.”

As well as pursuing a strategy of moving production closer to end users, the company intends to build growth through the development of new products. Tellock said, “In 2007, the crane group will bring 17 new lifting products to the market.”

Manitowoc’s report also suggested that it would be looking at bringing suppliers closer to the company, and integrating third party components into Manitowoc products: ‘We constantly look for ways to increase the value of owning our products. One way we will do that is by creating partnerships and alliances with members of our supply chain to integrate the best of their technologies into our products.’

Tellock noted the difficulty of predicting the profit value of the company’s backlog, saying, “As we have noted in the past, we are reluctant to book orders with extended delivery dates without the ability to accurately price the product due to fluctuating supply chain costs. We have seen this issue understate the underlying strength of lifting equipment demand at other times during this up-cycle as well.”