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Dear reader,
WELCOME TO FORKLIFTACTION.COM, MATERIALS HANDLING ONLINE.
This is issue #105 - 01 May 2003 of the weekly newsletter for industry professionals.
 
INSIDE FORKLIFTACTION

NEWS
1. FINNING BUYS LEX HARVEY
2. NACCO: MODEST SHIPMENT INCREASES PREDICTED
3. CASCADE, ITAB JOIN FORCES
4. JLG MAINTAINS EARNINGS OUTLOOK
5. BT WEATHERS THE STORM FOR Q1
6. NEW 7FBE MARKS TOYOTA MILESTONE
7. YALE FORKLIFTS TO FEATURE ON THE SMALL SCREEN

UPCOMING EVENTS
8. TOC2003 EUROPE
9. QUEENSLAND 2003 SUPPLY CHAIN SEMINAR
10. 13TH ANNUAL NORTHWEST MATERIAL HANDLING SHOW
11. ADVANCED AUTOMOTIVE BATTERY CONFERENCE

OPEN TENDERS
12. ISO LIFT ADAPTER
13. LIFTING AND HANDLING EQUIPMENT
14. MECHANICAL HANDLING EQUIPMENT
15. MECHANICAL HANDLER - FOR LYNX HELICOPTER
16. MATERIELS DE LEVAGE ET DE MANUTENTION.
17. HARBOUR CRANES - AUTOMATIC TELESCOPIC BOOM
18. HARBOUR CRANES
19. PERSONNEL HOIST

POSITIONS VACANT
20. PARTS MANAGER - FULL TIME



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1. FINNING BUYS LEX HARVEY 
BEDWORTH, United Kingdom
Finning International Inc, through its subsidiary Finning UK, has bought Lex Harvey Ltd, one of the United Kingdoms largest materials handling companies, for USD220 million (GBP138.3 million).

The acquisition, which is expected to be finalised on May 31, includes the business and the majority of assets of Lex Harvey and Lex Birchwood, a Toyota dealer recently acquired by Lex Harvey.

The Lex Harvey companies, which provide materials handling rental and fleet management solutions, had pre-tax losses of USD6.9 million (GBP4.3 million) in 2002. The value of assets included in the transaction was USD154.7 million (GBP97.3 million), as at December 31, 2002.

With the addition of the Lex Harvey assets, Finnings UK materials handling business now has 16,000 machines, more than 1,300 employees and 2002 pro-forma revenues of USD340 million (GBP213.7 million).

Finning UK managing director Steve Mallett said the acquisition was a big step towards Finning Internationals goal of achieving 30 percent of each of its world markets.

By joining forces with Lex Harvey, the materials handling division will increase its market position significantly, he said. The long-term nature of Lex Harveys rental and service contracts will provide greater stability and predictability to revenues.

In a move Mr Mallet admitted was bold, Lex Harvey would be integrated into Finning, and the name, which is a strong brand in the UK market, would disappear over the next two years.

Mr Mallett said Lex Harveys parent company, the Royal Automobile Club plc (RAC), had shifted its focus away from materials handling, and Lex Harvey had too high a cost structure and had suffered.

Unfortunately there will be some job losses, consistent with whenever two companies join, but it is too early to say how many or in what areas these will come from, he said.

Andy Harrison, RAC chief executive, said the sale was a way of realising value from under-performing assets.

We will continue to concentrate on our growth opportunities in consumer and business services, based on our strong brands and unique capabilities, he said.

Mr Mallet said Finning would conduct due diligence on Lex Harvey over the next 90 days before starting integration of the two companies.

- Finning UK website -
2. NACCO: MODEST SHIPMENT INCREASES PREDICTED 
MAYFIELD HEIGHTS, United States
Nacco Material Handling Groups wholesale unit expects a modest increase in overall forklift shipments this year after a marked increase in the first quarter.

NMHG Wholesale shipped 17,452 units during the quarter ended March 31, compared to 14,971 in last years first quarter. Pre-war purchasing conservatism impacted bookings, the company said in a statement. The worldwide order backlog was 17,300 units.

The wholesale unit recorded a profit of USD4.7 million on sales of USD382.6 million, compared to USD5.6 million on sales of USD327.7 million for the first quarter of 2002.

While market prospects are unusually uncertain, lift truck markets in the Americas are anticipated to improve in the second half of 2003, while markets in Europe and the Asia-Pacific region are expected to remain relatively flat, the report said.

NMHG Wholesale expects results in 2003 will be affected by ongoing costs for a product development program that is expected to mature in 2004-2006 and additional costs related to the Lenoir, North Carolina, [USA] and Irvine, Scotland, manufacturing restructuring program announced in December.

NMHGs retail operations improved in the quarter, primarily in Asia-Pacific, but needed to include wind-down costs related to sold dealerships, the company said.

Consequently, NMHG Retail posted a loss of USD1.4 million on sales of USD36.4 million for the quarter, compared to last years USD1.3 million loss on USD44.1 million in sales. The January sale of NMHGs only wholly-owned US dealer was the primary cause for the decline in revenue.

NMHG Retail expects to continue to improve the performance of its wholly-owned dealerships in 2003 as part of its program to reach at least break-even results, the company said.

- NMHG website -
3. CASCADE, ITAB JOIN FORCES 
ALMERE, Netherlands
Cascade Corporation has joined forces with Swedish clamp manufacturer ITAB, the developer of the Smart Clamp system for paper roll handling. The value of the deal has not been released.

Cascade Europe paper industry manager Tommy Abrahamsson said merging the companies product lines cemented Cascades position as the premier supplier to the European paper industry.

"With this new combination, Cascade will offer paper producers and transporters the widest, most versatile range of damage reduction technology and solutions in the industry," he said.

Mr Abrahamsson, an expert in damage reduction solutions for the paper industry, was chosen by Cascade to merge the companies attachment products and technologies.

ITAB's Smart Clamp, developed for the European paper industry, uses an on-board computer to gauge hydraulic pressure in the hoist and clamping cylinders and compute the roll weight.

The hydraulic pressure is then adjusted, and the system automatically tilts the mast to vertical when lifting or lowering to eliminate the risk of roll damage.

- Cascade Europe website -
4. JLG MAINTAINS EARNINGS OUTLOOK 
McCONNELLSBURG, United States
JLG Industries chairman Bill Lasky has reaffirmed that company sales for financial year 2003, ending July 31, will be consistent with the forecasted USD770 million.

While it continues to appear that we are at the bottom of the cycle, forward visibility remains very difficult, he said. Although the contraction of non-residential construction, one of our leading indicators, appears to have bottomed out in 2002, it still remains sluggish in 2003, with a rebound anticipated in 2004.

In February, JLG, which manufactures mobile aerial work platforms, telehandlers and telescopic hydraulic excavators, forecast a modest profit improvement for 2003.

Meanwhile, JLG will seek to raise up to USD125 million through a private sale of senior notes to institutional buyers. Success of the offering was contingent on market conditions, the company said.

The publicly-traded firm would use the net proceeds of the sale to repay outstanding debt under its existing USD250 million revolving credit facility, and for general corporate purposes.

- JLG website -
5. BT WEATHERS THE STORM FOR Q1 
MJOLBY, Sweden
BT Industries has posted a net profit of SEK100 million (USD12.2 million) on sales of SEK2.92 billion (USD354.9 million) for the first quarter down slightly from the SEK102 million (USD12.4 million) on SEK2.93 billion (USD358.6 million) posted last year.

BT, in its report for the quarter ended March 31, said the world market for combustion counterbalance forklifts had lifted slightly during the first quarter, but the electric forklift market, where BT was mainly active, remained uncertain.

Previous signs of a slight recovery in North America dissipated during the first quarter, (but) demand for warehouse trucks rose slightly in Europe and the rest of the world, BTs report said.

BT was affected by the declining value of the US dollar, and the world market was affected by war in Iraq, said chief executive Per Zaunders.

The cautious optimism in the second half of 2002 was replaced during the first months of 2003 by gradually increasing uncertainty. Now that the situation in Iraq appears to be over, we can hope for more stable economic conditions, Mr Zaunders said.

"In the years ahead, a growing number of companies around the world is expected to again need to invest, which should impact our industry - and many others - positively.

- BT Industries website -
6. NEW 7FBE MARKS TOYOTA MILESTONE 
IRVINE, United States
Toyota Material Handling USA Inc (TMHU) has unveiled a new 7-Series three-wheel electric forklift, which uses Toyotas next-generation AC technology.

TMHU president Dr Shankar Basu said that, with the release of the 7FBE, TMHU, the leading full-line supplier of forklifts to the US market, now assembled 99 percent of its forklifts in the USA. Production of the 7FBE began in April.

Most Toyota forklifts for the US market are assembled by Toyota Industrial Equipment Manufacturing Inc (TIEM) at a state-of-the-art facility in Columbus, Indiana.

Toyota has achieved a long-term goal by bringing nearly all our manufacturing efforts to the USA, Dr Basu said. We strongly believe in supporting the communities where we live and work, and investing in our local economy at every opportunity to create jobs and encourage prosperity.

Since opening in 1990 to support Toyotas US growth, the TIEM manufacturing facility has increased its initial employment to more than 500, increased production more than 10-fold and more than doubled in physical size.

Last year the facility was expanded to include a 43,000-square-foot (4,000 square metre) parts distribution centre.

- Toyota USA website -
7. YALE FORKLIFTS TO FEATURE ON THE SMALL SCREEN 
GREENVILLE, United States
Yale Materials Handling Corporation will star in a television special on loading docks, aired by The History Channels Modern Marvels program.

Loading Docks, which airs on July 30, documents the history of loading docks, warehousing, trucking, shipping, rail and air transport.

Yale features in a segment on the history of forklifts, with interviews with Yale executives Warren Eck and Bill Gilroy.

The company provided antique Yale product photographs, and videos of forklift applications and its Greenville manufacturing plant, for the documentary.

- Modern Marvels website -
 

8. TOC2003 EUROPE
Genoa, Italy
10th, 11th and 12th June 2003
9. QUEENSLAND 2003 SUPPLY CHAIN SEMINAR
Brisbane, Australia
12th and 13th June 2003
10. 13TH ANNUAL NORTHWEST MATERIAL HANDLING SHOW
Portland, Oregon, United States
11th and 12th June 2003
11. ADVANCED AUTOMOTIVE BATTERY CONFERENCE
Nice, France
10th to 13th June 2003
 

12. ISO LIFT ADAPTER
Lakehurst, United States
Closing: 15 May 2003 TBA - Contract: N68335-03-R-0145
13. LIFTING AND HANDLING EQUIPMENT
Metz Armees, France
Closing: 12 June 2003 4:00pm - Contract: CPV: 29221000
14. MECHANICAL HANDLING EQUIPMENT
Athens, Greece
Closing: 11 June 2003 10:00am - Contract: CPV: 29221850
15. MECHANICAL HANDLER - FOR LYNX HELICOPTER
RAF Wyton, United Kingdom
Closing: 30 June 2003 TBA - Contract: 29221000
16. MATERIELS DE LEVAGE ET DE MANUTENTION.
Cuers, France
Closing: 26 May 2003 TBA - Contract: CPV: 29221000
17. HARBOUR CRANES - AUTOMATIC TELESCOPIC BOOM
Barcelona, Spain
Closing: 17 May 2003 TBA - Contract: CPV: 29221411
18. HARBOUR CRANES
Peiraias, Greece
Closing: 04 June 2003 10:00am - Contract: CPV: 29221411
19. PERSONNEL HOIST
Not advised, United States
Closing: 21 May 2003 2:00pm - Contract: SOL # 51926
 
20. PARTS MANAGER - FULL TIME
McAllen, United States
 

  

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