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Manufacturers of construction equipment and building material machinery well prepared for end of boom

After six years of growth in a row, the German construction equipment and building material machinery industry expects to see an end to the construction boom in 2009.

- We see a slump with regard to incoming orders already today which indicates that the construction equipment sector is to face serious setbacks in the nearer future - said Mr Dr Christof Kemmann, chairman of the Federation's association representing the construction equipment and building material machinery industry.

Currently the industry is experiencing growth. During the first nine months of 2008, sales of the entire German construction equipment and building material machinery industry increased again compared to the same period last year. This is particularly due to the development in the building material machinery industry. With regard to building material, glass and ceramics machinery, turnover grew by 79 per cent during this period, with 31 per cent of this accrued in Germany and as much as 85 per cent abroad. This strong increase is the result of bulk orders in the cement machinery sector. With a total of seven per cent, the growth in construction equipment machinery is significantly smaller. Domestic sales grew by two per cent, whereas sales abroad grew by nine per cent in this sector.

In comparison, there were a lot less incoming orders for construction machinery during the same period of time - and this is true for all segments of construction machinery. On average, one third less orders were placed than at the same time last year. This particularly applies to manufacturers of tower cranes, concrete technology and construction devices, but also manufacturer of standard machinery such as excavators and loaders are affected. Construction material machinery, on the contrary, still saw an increase in incoming orders by seven per cent.

Thanks to the bulk orders in the cement sector, the industry's association is able to even slightly exceed its forecast of 8.2 per cent growth for the entire industry for this year. The association now expects a growth in turnover of 8.6 per cent to 16.6 billion Euros. Mr Kemmann stressed that, however, these figures should not blind anybody to the fact that the current situation with regard to incoming orders is to be taken seriously.

Exportation is crucial for the industry. During the first nine months of this year, construction equipment and building material machinery worth nearly eight billion Euros was sold abroad. This is about 16 per cent more than at the same time in the previous year. With a 68 per cent export quota, Europe is the biggest sales market, followed by Asia (nine per cent) and North America (seven per cent).

The global market for construction equipment and building material machinery has been growing steadily for years and represented a value of 76 billion Euros in 2007, according to figures published in the international foreign trade statistics. Germany holds a percentage of 14 per cent of the world export quota.