Konecranes wants to give customers a positively uplifting experience. The Finnish company is a global manufacturer of cranes, forklift trucks, load manipulators, and other heavy duty and light lifting equipment under its own name and such brands as STAHL, SWF, Sanma, R&M, and Verlinde. Konecranes is also a global leader in maintenance, inspection, and repair services, as well as parts replacement, for cranes and machine tools. It serves a wide range of industries, including automotive, general manufacturing, intermodal and rail, mining, nuclear, oil and gas, paper, ports, power, and steel. Konecranes has production facilities and sales and service locations in about 50 countries. The company was founded in 1910.
In fiscal 2010 Konecranes made nine acquisitions, reflective of a larger business strategy to grow through adding complementary products and services. Six of those acquisitions were purchases of companies that expand its machine tool service business in the US and Europe. In the Americas, its largest markets are the US, Canada, and Mexico. In 2011 Konecranes continued on that path by acquiring Germany's Schneider Werkzeugmaschinen, which specializes in machine tool maintenance. The deal gives Konecranes a large customer base and a machine tool service hub in Germany. Germany, Austria, France, the Netherlands, and the UK constitute the company's largest markets in western Europe.
In the Asia/Pacific region, Konecranes and Japanese hoist, crane, and material handling equipment company Kito entered into a strategic alliance, under which Konecranes will sell Kito manual products and Kito will sell wire rope hoists made by Konecranes. The mutually beneficial relationship expands Konecranes' presence in the US and Asia/Pacific markets and gives Kito greater reach in the European market. In addition, Konecranes bought a stake in Kito, giving it 24% of the company's voting rights.
In an effort to expand geographically in less developed markets, Konecranes purchased Saudi Cranes & Steel Works Factory Company, an industrial crane manufacturer in Saudi Arabia, in 2011. It also acquired India's WMI Cranes, one of the country's leading manufacturers of heavy duty cranes. Previous acquisitions include hoist and crane manufacturers in South Africa and China. These purchases are significant because roughly 40% of its new orders come from emerging markets, which are recovering from the economic crisis faster than more mature markets.
Like most companies weathering the recession, Konecranes scrambled to address weaker demand by making personnel reductions (about 17%), shuttering manufacturing facilities (in Germany, the US, and the UK), reducing capacity, and implementing other cost-saving measures. Overall net sales decreased by about 8% in 2010 from 2009. As the company gradually recovers in line with the global economy, Konecranes' maintenance services business is rebounding at a faster rate than its equipment business. Net sales from maintenance services increased 6% in 2010 over the prior year, while net sales from equipment decreased about 15%. – less