In Ontario, while construction markets have shown recovery from the recession, there remains an overall lack of optimism and uncertainty over the economy which has caused many customers to curtail spending on heavy equipment and take a wait-and-see approach toward the marketplace in general. Increased activity and planned development in the mining sector in northern Ontario and continued spending on infrastructure across the province are expected to lead to ongoing demand for heavy equipment.
With the recent evidence of recovery in residential housing markets and the increased level of new job creation, economists are also projecting modest economic growth in 2013 in the United States with a bias towards second half growth. This is a positive indicator for ongoing recovery in construction markets and demand for heavy equipment.
Strongco's sales backlogs grew during the first quarter of 2012 and remained robust through the balance of the year. In addition, the level of rental contracts with purchase options ("RPOs") activity increased throughout 2012 and at year end, there was $48.0 million of equipment inventory on RPO contracts. The strong backlog and level of RPO's are a positive indication of the continued demand for heavy equipment.
Conference Call Details
Strongco will hold a conference call on Wednesday, March 20, 2013 at 10:00 am ET to discuss fourth quarter and year end results. Analysts and investors can participate by dialing 416-644-3414 or toll free 1-800-814-4859. An archived audio recording will be available until midnight on April 3, 2013. To access it, dial 416-640-1917 and enter passcode 4589630#.
About Strongco Corporation
Strongco Corporation is a major multiline mobile equipment dealer with operations across Canada and in the United States. Strongco sells, rents and services equipment used in sectors such as construction, infrastructure, mining, oil and gas, utilities, municipalities, waste management and forestry. The Company has approximately 690 employees serving customers from 26 branches in Canada and five in the United States, operating under Chadwick-BaRoss. Strongco represents leading equipment manufacturers with globally recognized brands, including Volvo Construction Equipment, Case Construction, The Manitowoc Company, National, Grove, Terex Cedarapids, Terex Finlay, Ponsse, Fassi, Allied Construction, Taylor, ESCO, Dressta, Sennebogen, Jekko, Takeuchi, Link-Belt and Kawasaki. Strongco is listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol SQP.
This news release contains "forward-looking" statements within the meaning of applicable securities legislation which involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of Strongco or industry results, to be materially different from any future results, events, expectations, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. All such forward-looking statements are made pursuant to the "safe harbour" provisions of applicable Canadian securities legislation. Forward-looking statements typically contain words or phrases such as "may", "outlook", "objective", "intend", "estimate", "anticipate", "should", "could", "would", "will", "expect", "believe", "plan" and other similar terminology suggesting future outcomes or events. This news release contains forward-looking statements relating to the expected trading of common shares of Strongco on the TSX, and such statements are based upon the expectations of management.
J. David Wood
Vice-President and Chief Financial Officer
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