Manitowoc reported a record 56% increase in crane sales for the fourth quarter of the 2007 financial year. The company said robust global construction activity continued to drive demand for its lifting solutions. This resulted in net sales rising to $945.5 million in the fourth quarter. Operating earnings for the same period increased 83%, to $147 million, from $77.6 million in the last three months of 2006.

“Manitowoc Crane Group continues to serve as our primary growth driver. Our global network of manufacturing and service facilities allows us to be a preferred lifting equipment provider in both established and emerging markets. Much of our planned 2008 capital expenditure will enable Manitowoc to meet the continued strong demand and provide delivery schedules that our customers require,” said Glen Tellock, Manitowoc Company president and CEO.

Order backlogs were also on the rise. The total stood at $2.9 billion at the end of 2007, an increase of 8% from September 30 in the same year. That equated to a massive 88% leap over the December 2006 figure.

“Demand in emerging markets is especially strong and our new manufacturing facilities in India and Slovakia have begun production to help meet this demand,” Tellock said. “Our discussions with customers, coupled with independent market research, indicate that demand for lift solutions will continue to be strong, at least through the end of the decade.”

Fourth quarter net sales for the Manitowoc Company, including its marine and food service segments, exceeded $1.1 billion; a 44% increase on the same period in 2006. Full year net sales exceeded $4 billion.

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