At the time of going to press many stock exchanges in Europe are showing an American led recovery. The general – albeit cautious – view is that the dramatic decline in worldwide trade has probably stopped and commerce has begun trickling along the bottom.
This is by no means certain but it does reflect the situation with Wood-Mizer in its European, African and Indian markets.
To put it in perspective, Wood-Mizer's 'European' sales have reverted to a state very similar to that which obtained in 2007, then regarded as a very good year. The extraordinary sales of 2008 now must be seen as a rare event. We are not uncomfortable with this stabilised state of affairs. It has enabled us to re-examine our operations very thoroughly in many ways.
Having arrived at some painful personnel decisions we have devised new approaches to our engineering design, purchasing, manufacture, assembly and transportation, saving considerable costs. These exercises have resulted in beneficial results, for example the launch of a new LT20B mill which combines the attributes of the LT15 with the cutting head of the LT20.
Currently the LT20B is bringing greater sawing capabilities to a significant niche market which has not been prepared to invest in an LT20 during the credit crunch. Even so, 'normal' LT20 sales are pretty consistant.
Our newly released Edger / MultiRip has added functions like infinitely adjustable power feed and power blade adjustment –at the same price as our manual model. Now, Setworks and lasers are available as options.
The new Industrial Sharpener has been launched. Again: same price as its predecessor. However, it now features an eight-inch /203mm grinding wheel and electronic tooth-counting for cycle control plus other improvements such as a viewing panel and internal lighting.
Even though economic recovery in the eurozone is fragile, the worst seems to be over. Outside the eurozone different countries went into recession at different times and are therefore coming out of recession accordingly. Gradually every country or market area is now showing signs of emerging from a severe economic winter into a fragile but bright spring of hope.