At bauma China 2014, Liebherr announced new machines while also revealing its latest results. The company is optimistic for its financial performance, despite tough market conditions at present. Member of the board Andreas Boehm said, “In the first six months of 2014, the overall revenue did not quite reach the previous year's level. We had a turnover of €4.3 billion across all product areas. That is €97.2 million or 2.2 % less than in last year's period. In the area of construction machinery and mining, sales were €2.6 billion euros in the first six months. When compared to the first half of 2013, this is a decrease of €184.2 million or 6.6 %. Slightly above last year's level was the turnover in the earthmoving division, while the mining division suffered quite a significant drop in turnover. A little bit above last year's level, too, was the revenue from mobile crane sales. The area of tower cranes also recorded a positive development. In comparison, the turnover from concrete technology was slightly below the 2013 level.”
Some markets have been performing better than others and Boehm said,
We need to differentiate in terms of turnover according to sales regions, too: For example, turnover in Western Europe developed pleasingly. In Eastern Europe, turnover in the first half of the year was marginally higher than last year. In contrast, revenue in the Middle East, America and Africa and particularly in the Far East Australia region shrank.
He continued, “Looking ahead, the global economy is set to grow by 3.3 % according to the International Monetary Fund's forecast. The IMF has adjusted its prognoses downwards. For the Group, we expect total turnover in 2014 to be on a par with the previous year’s figure. In the area of construction machinery and mining a slight drop is anticipated. We were growing roughly 10% year on year. Outside the construction machinery and mining area, we expect an overall positive development.
This year, too, we are investing in our production sites and our worldwide sales and service organisation – the overall investment sum in 2014 is in the realm of €780 million. One large investment project, for example, is our new logistics centre in Oberopfingen in Baden-Württemberg, Germany. From early 2015 on, this will be the centre from which spare parts for Liebherr earthmoving machines will be supplied around the world. In the long term, spare parts logistics for other construction machines will also be located there.
The investment value for the first stage of construction is in excess of 115 million euros. The current construction phase covers, among other things, site development, the erection of a logistics warehouse on an area of approximately 47,000m² as well as the construction of a separate office building. Commissioning of the logistics area will take place in the first quarter of 2015.
A key launch for the firm at bauma China is the new R966 excavator, which competes in the 70tonne class and replaces the earlier R964C. This new heavy duty machine suits duties in quarrying applications as well as for bulk earthmoving. Power comes from one of Liebherr’s own diesels, a V8 delivering 320kW and which complies with the Tier 3/Stage IIIA emissions requirements. Shown with a heavy duty undercarriage and configured with a backhoe boom and dipper, the machine features a 4.5m3 bucket.