In spite of instability in financial markets, growth in rental services is expected to continue in Cramo’s business environment. In the Nordic countries, construction is predicted to continue growing in 2008, albeit at a lower rate compared to previous years. Even though overall growth in construction sees a decline in residential construction, industrial and commercial construction and civil engineering will continue to grow. In 2009, the construction sector is expected to continue to grow in Sweden, whereas there is more uncertainty regarding the other Nordic countries. Central and Eastern Europe are expected to see sustained growth. In the Baltics the construction market is down.
Equipment rental services are expected to grow faster compared to construction. This is related to increasing penetration rates, increased equipment outsourcing and growth in the demand for rental-related services. Continued growth is also anticipated in the demand for modular space, supported by relocations, demographic changes and the industry’s needs for increasingly flexible space solutions.
In 2008, the Group’s growth and geographic expansion have triggered a high equipment investment activity. However, the level of capital expenditure will normalise in the Nordic countries in 2009. Investments will continue in the growing Central and Eastern European markets.
The main sources of uncertainty in Cramo’s business are related to global economic developments, as well as the economic cycle and financial development of each country, interest and exchange rate fluctuations, and the success of the Group’s acquisitions.
The Group reconfirms its sales growth guidance at above 18% and an EBITA above 18% of sales in 2008, in line with the Group’s financial targets. Beyond, however, sudden macroeconomic developments may change this picture.