The construction and equipment rental service markets are expected to grow stronger in almost all of Cramo’s market areas in 2011. According to construction market research organisation Euroconstruct, construction activity will grow some 3–4 per cent in each of the Nordic countries in 2011. Double-digit growth rates are forecasted for Poland and Estonia, while elsewhere in Central and Eastern Europe (Russia included) growth is estimated at 4–6 per cent. The Czech Republic is the only one of Cramo’s market areas where construction activity is predicted to decline. Construction activity is also expected to increase in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Hungary.
Cramo anticipates a stronger growth in the demand for rental services compared to that in construction. External forecasts also support this view: for example, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland predicts a growth rate of eight per cent for rental services in Finland in 2011, which is clearly above the three per cent growth predicted for construction. Increased interest in equipment rental as an alternative to owning is an important factor contributing to the growth of the rental market. Construction companies are also finding arrangements where companies outsource their equipment fleets to a rental service company to be attractive.
While the outlook for full year 2011 is positive, the expectations for the first quarter result are cautious due to the winter season and one-off expenses related to the Theisen acquisition, in addition to which there will be integration expenses.
Because of the improved outlook, Cramo will increase its in-vestment level in 2011.