Pump manufacturers publish mixed results for 2013, but many are optimistic about business in the year ahead. Bryan Orchard reports.
With several of the world’s leading pump manufacturers now having issued their Annual Reports and Accounts, a picture is emerging that while trading conditions continued to be challenging in 2013, there was light at the end of the tunnel.
The pump market is very much dependent on the global economic climate, making it difficult for many companies to give accurate growth targets over the short and medium term.
In North America some growth was identified in the oil and gas markets, but for those companies that concentrated on other markets, the situation was more difficult.
In China and India, reduced growth resulted in fewer infrastructure projects being started and others being delayed, while in Europe only Germany and the UK moved forward.
However, several European countries still in recession did start to indicate signs of improvement, which is encouraging for pump and valve manufacturers and distributors.
Xylem was one of the brighter performers, reporting revenue for 2013 at $3.84 billion, no doubt boosted by a fourth quarter which turned in revenues of $1.03 billion up 7% on the same period in 2012. Xylem CEO and president Steve Lornager forecasts full year 2014 revenue of approximately $4 billion, up 2-4% over 2013, and he is encouraged by signs of stabilisation in some of the company’s key end markets such as industrial and public utilities, as well as relative strength in Europe.
The Grundfos Group also enjoyed a better year showing a growth in turnover of 2.9% to 23.3 billion Danish kroner against 22.6 billion kroner in 2012.
However, the foreign exchange rates outside the Eurozone had a negative influence on the growth for 2013. Without this influence, the growth rate would have been 4.5%.
According to Grundfos group chairman Jens Moberg, Grundfos’ three largest markets of China, Russia and Germany - with growth rates of 19%, 13% and 6% respectively - pushed the result in the right direction.
He reports that sales in the US were not satisfactory, and that the pump market in several places in Europe was stagnant.
“The financial results for 2013 were reasonable but below what we expected,” says Moberg.
“We have an ambition of achieving higher growth during the years to come on both top and bottom line. Grundfos is the world’s leading pump manufacturer, and we have a considerable unexploited potential for using this position for winning market shares in the coming years. We expect growth in both turnover and earnings in 2014.”
Dover Corporation president and chief executive officer Robert A. Livingston is bullish about the prospect for 2014, having recorded revenue at $1.9 billion for the first quarter of the year.
“Our strong first quarter results were recorded revenue at highlighted by solid revenue growth, broadbased bookings growth, and building momentum as we moved through the quarter,” says Livingston.
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