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CLASS posts strong results despite COVID-19 shutdowns

CLAAS has posted a 3.7 per cent increase in global sales to $A6.3 billion, despite the coronavirus pandemic and shutdowns in production.

The company’s pre-tax earnings rose to $250 million with significant sales increases in Eastern Europe and North America.

Chief executive Thomas Böck said the company “quickly adapted” to the challenges of the coronavirus crisis, which caused several week-long shutdowns at nearly all of the company’s production sites.

“Extensive preparations were made to ensure that production could be restarted as soon as possible,” he said.

“Thanks to the high dedication of staff and a close-knit logistics network, the supply to customers was maintained as best it could be.”

The company also won a swag of Machine of the Year Awards for its Lexion 8000/7000 combine harvester, the Jaguar 900 forage harvester and Data DataConnect cross-manufacturer interface at Agritechnica in November 2019.

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 $370m€237 on research and development and $206m€131 million on capital investment.

Thanks to the high dedication of staff and a close-knit logistics network, the supply to customers was maintained as best it could be.

Major projects included the modernisation of the company’s combine harvester assembly plant at Harsewinkel, Germany, and tractor plant at Le Mans, France.

It also constructed new sales centres in France and the UK and a new high-bay warehouse in Hamm, Germany.

Mr Böck said the company expected 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,” he said.

“Further risks could arise from volatile producer prices and changes in the political framework for farmers in core markets.”

Founded in 1913, CLAAS employs about 11,400 workers worldwide.

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