August 2014

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32 | www.cedmag.com | Construction Equipment Distribution | August 2014 CED Midyear Business Report There are undoubtedly more dealers pleased with their results at the midyear mark this year than last, according to the 2014 CED Midyear Business Outlook survey. Last year, about six in 10 dealers surveyed had higher revenues in the first half. This year, it's more than eight in 10, with 55 percent of dealers reporting a revenue increase of more than 10 percent. The number of dealers who reported declining revenues in the first half dropped significantly from last year, but still about 9 percent of those surveyed cited declining revenues. "We are experiencing steady improvement in many sectors combined with improving customer confidence to purchase equipment," said a West-region dealer responding to the survey. "Rental is strong, but the largest percentage gains are coming from parts and service." Business is just okay for Charleston-based West Virginia Tractor. Concerns about the ripple effects of the downturn in the coal market weigh on President Gary Grady. "The general economy of our state is the biggest challenge we face. Taxes from coal affect employ- ment throughout the state and the money that our government agencies have to spend. That looks bleak for the future." The economic recovery continues to be geographically uneven. While business is good overall for 4 Rivers Equip- ment, with locations in Eastern Colorado and New Mexico, their good fortune is largely due to activity in their Eastern Colorado territory. Markets like Albuquerque that rely more on public construction spending, have been slower to rebound. In Farmington, N.M., a slowdown in coal and halt to fracking activity affected business. But ASC Volvo, Charlotte, N.C., reports a different outlook. "The Southeast is really rebounding," said Brad Stimmel, president of ASC Volvo. The first quarter was slow due to bad weather, but in the second quarter activity accelerated. We recovered and surpassed our expectations for the first half of the year," he added. ASC forecast a 10 percent increase in revenue for the year and has a 25 percent increase over last year at the half-way mark. Stimmel says housing is driving increased revenues, particularly in the big markets such as Atlanta, Char- lotte and Charleston. Construction work at the ports in Half-Time Breakdown: More Dealers Say Things Are Looking Up As they chisel through the year, our survey-takers are keeping their eyes on rental vs. leasing, road funding, and telematics. BY JOANNE COSTIN Photo courtesy of Sandvik

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