A near 13 per cent increase in domestic market share helped the Argo Group maintain its economic performance in the face an industry-wide downturn last year.
The sales boost, which strengthened Argo’s number two position in the Italian tractor market, follows a €75 million, three-year R&D investment plan that has rejuvenated the Landini and McCormick product ranges with new and improved models – and with further newcomers on their way.
“For the second year running, in 2015 the global tractor market experienced broad-based contraction with very few countries being the exception,” says Valerio Morra, Chairman of Argo Group. “Despite this, we were still able to maintain our volumes and achieve satisfactory financial results.”
Revenues amounted to €461 million compared with €465 million in 2014, while EBITDA steadied at €41 million or about 9 per cent of turnover, versus €45 million in the prior year. The net operating result came in at €12.1 million.
In Italy, Europe’s third largest tractor market after Germany and France, the Landini brand advanced its market share from 9.2 to 10.4 per cent overall, strengthening its second place position behind New Holland and ahead of SAME, John Deere and specialist tractor maker Antonio Carraro.
The Argo Group, which operates across four sites close to the town of Fabricco in northern Italy, typically invests 5.5 per cent of turnover in R&D to maintain a continuous programme of product improvement and to fund the introduction of new tractor ranges.
“Three years ago, the Argo Tractors division presented a new product strategy to renew the entire Landini and McCormick ranges with more modern designs, new features, new technologies, greater comfort for operators and, of course, more power,” says Ray Spinks, General Manager & Sales Director at AgriArgo UK, the Argo products distributor in Gt Britain.
“That plan has been delivered with stylish new tractor families from 43hp to 212hp and Argo signalled its imminent entry into the 300hp sector by previewing the McCormick X8 VT Drive range at Agritechnica last year,” he adds. “It is very encouraging for us and our dealers to see that the Argo Group’s commitment to its core business – building tractors for use by farmers around the World – is paying off with these strong financial results in a challenging marketplace.”