In spite of the instability of the financial markets and US economic development, brisk demand for rental services is expected to continue in Cramo’s main markets. Growth in construction activity coupled with major infrastructure projects in the industry and the public sector will continue to fuel growth in the equipment rental business. Nordic construction is expected to continue its growth, but at a slightly lower rate than in previous years. Although overall growth in construction is hampered by the decline in residential construction, industrial and commercial construction as well as civil engineering projects will continue to grow. Central and Eastern Europe are expected to see sustained strong growth in construction, although this growth is decelerating in the Baltic countries. Equipment rental services will expand at a faster rate compared to general growth in construction, due to factors such as increasing penetration rates for these services, increased equipment outsourcing, and growth in the demand for rental-related services. Continued growth is also anticipated in the demand for modular space. This demand is supported by relocations, demographic changes, and the industry’s needs for increasingly flexible building solutions.
Growing demand in all of the Group’s main markets will require continued capital expenditure growth in 2008.
In line with its strategy, the Group intends to further enhance its position in all of its market areas. The Group will continue to map out its growth potential in the Nordic countries and Central and Eastern Europe, with the objective of being one of the top two service providers in each market. The supply of modular space in Central and Eastern Europe is seen as a new growth opportunity.
Besides global economic development, the most significant uncertainties faced by Cramo’s business are associated with general cyclical and economic development in each country, changes in interest and foreign-exchange rates as well as the success of the Group’s acquisitions. So far, the growing uncertainty in the financial markets and the US economy have had little impact on Cramo’s business.
The Group’s internal, as well as market indicators support a sales growth above 18 % and EBITA above 18 % of sales in 2008, in line with the Group’s financial targets. However, macroeconomic development may change this picture.