GLOBAL agricultural technology manufacturer, CLAAS, has reported a 3.4 percent increase in sales to a record 3.89 billion euros (AUD 6.13 billion / NZD 6.47 billion), despite volatile market conditions. The company reported increased revenue in core markets, including Germany, France, United Kingdom and North America, which was partially offset by decreased revenue in Eastern Europe and China.
Operating profit before tax increased 22.8 percent to 226 million euros (AUD 419 million / NZD 442 million). CLAAS ploughed 233 million euros (AUD 367 million / NZD 387 million), equivalent to almost six percent of its turnover, into research and development during the year.
Highlights included the commercial release of JAGUAR 960 TERRA TRAC, the first forage harvester equipped with a factory-integrated crawler track assembly, and innovations right across its ‘greenline’ range of mower and balers. CLAAS continued to invest heavily in its manufacturing and service capabilities, with ongoing modernisation of its tractor assembly line in Le Mans, France; expansion of its state-of-the-art parts storage and distribution centre at Hamm, Germany; the building of a new testing centre for machine components at Harsewinkel, Germany; and new distribution centres in the UK and France.
Despite uncertainty about global trade agreements, CLAAS is anticipating a slight growth in revenue and stable earnings in 2019 on the back of increasing demand for professional agricultural technology. Best known for its industry-leading grain and forage harvesters, CLAAS also manufactures a full line of green harvesting technology, advanced technology tractors and telehandlers.
Established in 1913, the third-generation family-owned company employs more than 11,000 people throughout the world, with its corporate headquarters in Harsewinkel, Germany.