Konecranes stands by its UK scale-back move

Panu Routila Panu Routila: "We are confident that the scaling-down of our UK operations in 2018, as a part of our integration activities, was rightly timed." Credit: Konecranes
Industry Database

Konecranes has said its business has slowed down in the UK and it is confident the decision to scale back its UK operations in 2018 was the right move.

With the announcement of its fourth quarter and 2018 results, Konecranes’ president and CEO, Panu Routila, stated that decision making within certain customer sectors is slowing down and economic activity among its UK customers stagnated during 2018 “amid Brexit uncertainty”, but the company, which has 12 locations throughout the UK, expected a limited impact.

Mr Routila said: “We are the only foreign vendor in our industry with local manufacturing in the UK. While our local presence can potentially be a relative benefit to us in the case of hard Brexit, we are confident that the scaling-down of our UK operations in 2018, as a part of our integration activities, was rightly timed.

“Any Brexit outcome that would negatively impact the UK economy is likely to have a negative impact also on Konecranes. However, we expect the impact on Konecranes as a whole to be limited, regardless of the Brexit outcome.”

Global outlook

Overall, “the momentum in Port Solutions right now is good” and product demand is stable in EMEA, the Americas and APAC, though Konecranes last year decided to ramp down its joint venture port crane factory in Seoul, China, which came with a MHPS acquisition.

The order intake in the fourth quarter of 2018 was “the highest ever in the history of Konecranes,” growing in all business areas and in all three regions. The value of the order book at the end of December totalled approximately EUR1.7bn, approximately 180m higher compared to the beginning on 2018.

Reflecting on the global outlook for Konecranes, which, Mr Routila said: “Despite macroeconomic concerns shadowing the global economy, our own demand environment still looks healthy and stable.”

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