Almost all countries experienced an upturn. Cereal and milk prices have largely recovered, creating an upbeat investment mood among farmers. Demand from Russia and Ukraine was particularly high. Sales figures also increased by double digits in the overseas markets of Canada and the USA. LEMKEN additionally achieved excellent sales results in the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland. The company also further expanded its already solid business in the United Kingdom. As expected, demand was challenging on the French market, where investment was subdued as a result of disappointing harvests and prices.
Sales developed positively across all product groups. Growth was particularly strong in the plough and compact disc harrow segments. However, sales of seed drills, cultivators and field sprayers were just as successful.
LEMKEN employed a total of 1470 staff at the end of the year. This new record shows clearly how staff numbers have increased continually from one year to the next. Managing Director Anthony van der Ley is satisfied with the results: “We are very happy that the economy has picked up again. Due to our employees’ outstanding commitment, we were able to produce considerably more machines than planned. We are also grateful to our partners among specialist dealers, who provided us with optimal support in sales and service.”
Highly skilled employees are essential for manufacturers of sophisticated implement technology. In this context, throughout the past year LEMKEN provided intensive practical training to almost 4000 colleagues from among dealers as well as internal sales and service staff at the AgroFarm, the company’s very own training centre. The company, an agricultural technology specialist, has also created additional positions and structures to make the renowned LEMKEN service even better and provide even more intensive support to farmers and specialist dealers.
Also, the family business made investments totalling almost EUR7 million in 2017. After substantial extension works (spending a total of almost EUR60 million over the past three years) last year’s investments mainly concerned new machinery and tools. Further large projects aimed at optimising production processes and thus quality and reliability are planned for 2018. Efficiency will be boosted even further in view of growing sales, and the company will focus on modern manufacturing technology and improved cross-departmental cooperation in this context. An additional 60 new positions will also be created at the Alpen manufacturing site, given the extensive utilisation of its capacities.
The outlook for 2018 is positive, as the excellent level of incoming orders at the beginning of the year indicates that this will be another year of positive growth. There continues to be enormous demand for modern agricultural technology in Eastern Europe, above all Russia. LEMKEN is therefore examining the possibility of manufacturing in the country to be able to serve this market better and more easily. Growth is also expected for the remaining regions, Germany and Central Europe. It is additionally anticipated that the French market will improve again for the first time in some years. The new products offered on the market in 2018 are the Azurit precision seed drill, the four-beam Karat 12 cultivator, the Primus and Albatros field sprayers with Face Lift and the CCI 1200 ISOBUS terminal.