Overall, there is still considerable uncertainty related to the general economic climate in 2010.
Market sentiment stabilised during the second half of 2009, and some signs of recovery could be observed in the construction industry. Euroconstruct predicts a recovery in construction for 2010 in Sweden, Denmark, Slovakia, and possibly also in Russia. While growth in Poland will continue, the construction markets in Norway, the Czech Republic and the Baltic countries are expected to decline further. For Finland, absent a general increase, signs of growing construction activity are seen.
Because of the cyclical nature of the construction industry and the low investments level in the industrial sector, demand for the equipment rental services may continue to decrease in several markets in the first half of 2010. In the beginning of the year, extraordinary winter conditions also slowed down construction starts in Central and Eastern Europe in particular. Cramo expects the first quarter in 2010 to be challenging.
The benefit of cost adjustments in 2008 and 2009 will be realised in 2010.
In 2010, the Group’s capital expenditure will be approximately EUR 30–40 million. Fleet management activities will continue to be focussed on optimising equipment utilisation between Cramo’s market areas.
The Group sees gradual market improvement. Gearing will continue to come down based on steady cash flow. The EBITA margin will improve compared with 2009.