CLAAS, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of agricultural machinery, has posted a 3.7 percent increase in sales to 4.042 billion euros despite the pandemic and shutdowns in production.
Pre-tax earnings rose to 158 million euros.
CLAAS Group Executive Board CEO, Thomas Böck, says the company quickly adapted to the challenges of the corona crisis.
“During shutdowns of several weeks at nearly all of the production sites, extensive preparations were made to ensure that production could be restarted as soon as possible,” he says. “Thanks to the high dedication of staff and a close-knit logistics network, the supply to customers was maintained as best it could be.”
Highlights of the year included a significant increase in sales in Eastern Europe and North America and earning coveted Machine of the Year awards for its LEXION 8000/7000 combine harvester, the JAGUAR 900 forage harvester and DataConnect cross-manufacturer interface at Agritechnica last November.
The AXION TERRA TRAC, the world’s first fully-suspended half-tracked tractor, also met with a very positive response from experts.
The company spent 237 million euros in research and development and 131 million euros in capital investment.
Major projects included modernisation of the company’s combine harvester assembly plant at Harsewinkel, Germany, and tractor plant at Le Mans, France; the construction of new sales centres in France and the UK; and the construction of a new high-bay warehouse in Hamm, Germany.
CLAAS expects sales and earnings to remain stable in the coming year.
“In view of the coronavirus pandemic and the international trade conflicts which are still smouldering, negative effects on sales and earnings cannot be ruled out,” Mr Böck says. Further risks could arise from volatile producer prices and changes in the political framework for farmers in core markets.”
Founded in 1913, the family-owned company employs about 11,400 workers worldwide