profi Tractors and Farm machinery for farmers and contractors

Record sales for Claas in Eastern Europe

Record sales for Claas in Eastern Europe

Claas sales rose by 3.6% to €3.76 billion (2016: €3.63 billion) last year, and the company saw profit before taxes almost double to €184 million (2016: €93 million). The strong boost was largely down to the Eastern European market, where good harvests led to a higher demand for agricultural machinery and record sales for the company.

Growth was also achieved in South America, but the agricultural machinery market was more mixed in Europe. There were only slight improvements in Claas sales in Germany, and as expected, sales in France fell significantly following the abolition of a special tax depreciation for farmers. Large markets such as China and the USA registered a further decline in sales.

R+D investment, which has doubled during the past decade to €217 million (2016: €221 million), continues at a high level and provides jobs for more than 11% of Claas employees. The number of staff around the world fell slightly to 10,961 (5,102 in Germany) as of 30 September 2017 (previous year: 11,300). The company says this reflects the differing trends in the agricultural engineering markets worldwide as well as the cost-cutting initiatives implemented over the past few years. While additional employees were hired in Eastern Europe, their number in China reduced.

The firm expects a moderate improvement in global farm machinery markets during 2018. Drivers include the strengthening of milk prices and the anticipated market recovery in France. The profitability of farms is expected to increase slightly again in most parts of the world, and Claas expects a positive sales trend and stable earnings before taxes during the current financial year.

By Steven Vale