CLAAS, one of the leading manufacturers of agricultural machinery worldwide, increased its sales slightly in the 2017 financial year to 3.76 billion euros (previous year: 3.63 billion euros). Profit before taxes almost doubled to 184 million euros (previous year: 93 million euros).
‘We were able to hone in on growth in a stabilising agricultural engineering market and significantly improve our profitability at the same time. A strong boost was largely down to the Eastern European market, where good harvests led to a noticeably higher demand for modern agricultural technology,’ said Hermann Lohbeck, spokesperson for the CLAAS Group Executive Board.
The global market for professional agricultural technology experienced growth this year. Yet despite very positive developments experienced in Eastern Europe and South America, the picture was more mixed in the rest of Europe and on the other continents. There were only slight improvements in terms of sales for CLAAS in Germany, whereas 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.
The investments made in research and development (217 million euros) remained at the same level as the previous year (221 million euros) and have doubled over the past ten years. More than eleven percent of CLAAS employees now work in research and development.
CLAAS expects a moderate improvement in the global agricultural engineering markets for the current 2018 financial year. Drivers behind the increasing demand for professional agricultural technology 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. CLAAS is therefore expecting a positive sales trend and stable earnings before taxes.
Hermann Lohbeck, Spokesperson for the CLAAS Executive Board