LEMKEN at a stable level
Farmers and the agricultural technology industry had a difficult year in 2019. After a very good first two quarters, LEMKEN experienced an unexpectedly steep decline in sales. Many farmers suffered not only extreme weather conditions, but also political insecurity, and trade restrictions which made business with agricultural technology more difficult.
Regarding the domestic German market, which at 23 percent, is the company’s most important individual sales market, LEMKEN experienced a decrease of just under 2 percent. Sales in France, LEMKEN’s strongest export market, increased markedly by 26 percent and currently accounts for 15 percent of the company’s overall sales. Generally, sales grew slightly in Western Europe.
In Central and Eastern Europe, sales of LEMKEN agricultural technology decreased by just under 9 percent spread across almost all the countries in the region. The Russian market remained largely stable, while sales in Ukraine decreased by 39 percent after several years with excellent results. Agricultural businesses in Ukraine have now been able to buy land for the first time and are therefore delaying their purchases of agricultural technology.
While Asia, Australia and New Zealand experienced a weaker year, growth in the North American countries again reached double figures, above all in the USA, which is now the German agricultural technology manufacturer’s fourth largest market, having experienced growth of 23 percent. Sales in Canada, where LEMKEN has been active for 15 years, are almost as high. Other stable markets in 2019 included Japan and China, where the family business has its own assembly plant.
In 2019 the product range was extended by fertiliser spreaders. As a result, farmers are now able to source their full range of machinery from a single manufacturer, from sowing through to harvesting. At the Agritechnica, LEMKEN showcased numerous innovations such as the Juwel 10 mounted reversible plough for tractors up to 450 hp and the SeedHub catch crop seed drill for combination with cultivators and compact disc harrows. LEMKEN also introduced the Koralin hybrid cultivator for ultra-shallow tillage, seedbed preparation and weed control. The company’s crop care segment includes the hoeing machines manufactured by the Dutch acquisition Steketee as well as the entirely new Orion trailed field sprayer. The Nova, the company’s first self-propelled field sprayer, is aimed at large agricultural businesses and contractors. Another LEMKEN initiative is geared towards smart products and services, which are now grouped under the “iQblue” umbrella brand. iQblue connect, a new accessory that allows numerous functions in basic implements to be automated, was awarded a DLG Silver medal.
LEMKEN invested a total of just under €9 million in new production facilities and improved factory logistics. This ensures that the company will continue to manufacture according to state-of-the-art technical standards in order to provide customers with optimal technology. By the end of 2019 the number of employees increased to 1,666.
The first few weeks of the current year have been characterised by a solid level of demand, indicating that the prospects for positive development are good. LEMKEN will use 2020 to rationalise production and business processes further, among others, to strengthen the company’s competitiveness.
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