The construction and equipment rental service markets are expected to recover gradually in 2010. According to local market forecasts, construction activity will begin to increase in 2010 in Sweden and possibly also Russia. In Poland, strong growth is expected to continue. The construction markets in Norway, Denmark, the Czech Republic and the Baltic countries are expected to decline further. The overall construction volume is not expected to grow in Finland, but there are clear signs of increasing residential construction in sight. In April, the Confederation of Finnish Construction Industries RT estimated that the Finnish construction market will decrease by two per cent in 2010. In February, the Swedish Construction Federation (Sveriges Byggindustrier) increased its growth estimate of the Swedish construction market from three to five per cent.
Exceptional winter conditions slowed down construction start-ups across all markets in the first months of the year, but the construction and rental service markets are expected to pick up during the second quarter. Cramo Group’s sales will turn into an increase and profits will grow during the latter half of the year at the latest. In addition, the benefits of the cost-saving measures implemented in 2008 and 2009 will improve profitability.
The Group’s gross capital expenditure in 2010 will be ap-proximately EUR 30–40 million. With regard to fleet management activities, Cramo will continue to focus on optimising equipment utilisation between different market areas.
The Group has modified its guidance. The new guidance is: “Although the market in Q1 2010 was weak, the Group still sees a gradual market improvement. Uncertainty remains high. Gearing to go down based on steady positive cash flow. EBITA margin to improve compared with 2009.”
The old guidance was: “The Group sees gradual market im-provement. The Group’s gearing will go down in 2010 based on steady positive cash flow. EBITA margin will improve compared with 2009.”