Zoomlion says sales surged last year

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 15 January, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 15 January, 2013, 5:29am

Zoomlion Heavy Industry Science & Technology, seeking to boost investor confidence after an anonymous letter questioned its sales, said business surged last year after it offered new products and hired more people.

"We achieved growth in 2012 because some of our products gained market share," Zhan Chunxin, the chairman of the mainland's second-biggest construction-equipment maker, said last week. "Zoomlion is a company with integrity."

GPS tracking devices were installed on every machine sold and employees met each client to ensure there were no fabricated sales contracts, said vice-president Hong Xiaoming.

Zoomlion is trying to allay concerns over its accounts as Chinese firms' finances draw increased scrutiny after short seller Muddy Waters uncovered irregularities, including those at now-bankrupt Sino-Forest.

Zoomlion, based in Changsha, last year introduced lighter and longer concrete pumps with sections made from carbon fibre, Zhan said.

The company had 31,018 workers by the end of June last year, 7.6 per cent more than at the end of 2011, according to the company's annual and interim reports.

First-half profit jumped 21 per cent last year while larger Sany Heavy Industry posted a 13 per cent decline. Construction-equipment makers face a glut on the mainland, as demand is slowing amid curbs on the property market.

Zoomlion did not offer customers "aggressive" financing to boost sales as the industry was highly competitive, company secretary Shen Ke said at the briefing.

Leasing finance given to customers helped generate about 32 per cent of sales in the first nine months of last year, said Hong, who heads the finance department.

Up to 27 per cent of the company's sales came from offering instalment options and 21 per cent from mortgages, she said.