The company said the tower crane market was steady, while the market softness in mobile cranes continued.

During the financial results conference call, transcribed by Seeking Alpha, John Garrison, Terex president and CEO, said that with few exceptions, all major crane markets declined in 2016.

“In North America, oil prices are still too low to stimulate new demand and there's a significant inventory of low hour used cranes available to compete with new crane sales. Our customers are looking to see consistent improvement in utilization and rental rates before they order new machines,” said Garrison.

He added that Australia, Middle East, Latin America and other commodity-driven markets remained week.

Terex’s crane segment recorded operating loss of $321.7m in 2016, with restructuring costs influencing the figure.

Terex SVP and CFO Kevin Bradley said pre-tax charges associated with restructuring costs in the last quarter of 2016 stood at $89m.

“These included workforce reductions in our manufacturing site in Zweibrücken and the announced closure of a satellite facility in Bierbach, Germany. We took charges associated with closing our facilities in Jinan, China and relocating our North American crane facility to Oklahoma City. We also incurred charges at our Brazilian utilities business as we prepare it for sale,” said Bradley.

Terex anticipates crane sales to drop by 11% in 2017. Garrison said Terex expects its primary global markets to remain challenging.

“The global crane market remains challenging and we expect a further decline in 2017.”

In the conference call, Garrison said the company expects sales to be down year-on-year in the first half of 2017, while in the second half to reach 2016 levels.

He also said the company plans to implement the commercial excellence program globally – it was launched in the Europe in Q4 2016.

Garrison also said the company is witnessing pressure on pricing. He said Terex wants to ensure it is not oversupplying the marketplace, as that can cause downward pressure on pricing.

“As you know, these are capital goods and it's the upfront price, it's the cost to operate, and it's residual value, and so you don't want to destroy that long-term value by oversupplying,” Garrison explained.

“And, again, from a channel inventory standpoint, there's not significant channel inventory in there. There's just not significant demand to drive the need for new cranes really globally. It has really become a very project-specific type of business. If there's a definitive project, customers are making the investment; without definitive projects, they're not willing to make the investment.”

Group results

For the full year 2016, Terex reported a loss from continuing operations of $193m on net sales of $4.4bn, compared to income from continuing operations of $128.4m in 2015.

The biggest sales decline was recorded in the Latin America, down 44% year-on-year. The only region where there was a year-on-year sales rise (4%) was the Asia-Pacific region.

Aerial work platform sales were down 11.9% year-on-year in 2016 at $1.98bn. This division reported an operating profit of $177.4m.

Terex’s material processing division saw its sales rise by 0.5% year-on-year to $944.5m in 2016.

After the completion of the sale of MHPS and the closure or sale of eight facilities in 2016, Terex continues its plan to simplify the company.

Garrison said: “In total, these actions will reduce our global footprint by over 3m square feet or approximately 32%, increasing flexibility and efficiency without sacrificing our ability to meet customer demand.”