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Steady Results in a Difficult Environment
Published on 14 February 2020
GLOBAL farm machinery manufacturer, CLAAS, has reported a minor increase in sales to €3.898 billion in difficult trading conditions caused by dampened demand for agricultural equipment, economic slowdown and simmering international trade conflicts. Income before taxes fell nearly 40 percent to €136 million.
Highlights of the year included a spate of new product launches, ongoing investment in research and development (€244 million) and development and ongoing investment in property, plant and equipment (€125 million).
Major product launches included the all-new series of LEXION 8000/7000 combine harvesters; AXION TERRA TRAC half-track tractor with full suspension and a stream of technological innovations to improve connectivity and operating ease.
Capital projects included the opening of a new testing and validation centre at its Harsewinkel headquarters; the ongoing modernisation of its tractor plant in France; and the expansion of its global parts logistics centre at Hamm, Germany.
The €20 million project, which included the construction of a 11,700 square metre high-bay warehouse, has effectively doubled the storage and processing capacity of the facility.
The 30 m tall building can hold about 58,000 pallets. Nine robots automatically pick cartons and deliver them to four work stations, which can process up to 320 orders per hour. The facility employs more than 500 people. Preparations are underway for a similar modernisation of its combine harvester assembly plant in Harsewinkel, Germany.
Despite the conditions, CLAAS expects to report a moderate rise in sales and income in 2020, with continued focus on development.
• CLAAS has announced its intention to undertake a major upgrade of the assembly plant in Harsewinkel, Germany.
• On track . . . the new CLAAS AXION 900 TERRA TRAC half-tracked tractor with full suspension.
• The new tall-bay shed has effectively doubled the capacity of the company’s spare parts logistics centre at Hamm