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Amazone: Slight turnover increase in 2016

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For the 2016 financial year, the Amazone Group achieved a turnover of 406 million Euros. In comparison with the previous year, at 402 million Euros, it means that the turnover was thus slightly higher. At the same time, this result is above average against the other German agricultural machinery manufacturers, which, according to the VDMA, registered in 2016 a drop in turnover of 2 %. In view of the difficult market conditions, Christian Dreyer and Dr. Justus Dreyer, the directors of Amazonen-Werke, regard this result as very positive. "In comparison with many of our competitors and the sector average, we are very pleased with the turnover in 2016, because the willingness of farmers and contractors to invest was, due to poor commodity prices and also less than average harvests, internationally very restrained. With our new developments we have been able to compensate for the associated weaker development of the market and so, in many areas, we have gained new customers to purchase Amazone machinery."

In Russia, Ukraine, Rumania, Spain, in the Baltic region and in Australia, their corresponding turnover has developed well above average. And, on a good level still is the turnover in the markets of Germany, Austria, France and England.

Also in 2016, 80 % of production went to export, the number of the full-time employees was 1,800, among them 130 trainees and expenditure on research and development remained also at more than 5 % of the turnover volume.

Strategic investments
An important strategic step was the purchase of a new 24 ha site in the new Bramsche industrial and commercial area. This enables the Amazone Group in the future, depending on the economic development, to manufacture at another site in addition to the factories in Hasbergen-Gaste and Leeden and thus have the capability to further expand production. The new area is situated conveniently adjacent to the A1 motorway and a distance of just 25 kilometres by road from the headquarters in Hasbergen-Gaste.

Also of very big strategic importance was the purchase of the plough factory from Vogel & Noot in the Hungarian region of Mosonmagyaróvár. In a consortium of bidders in September 2016, in total three investors were awarded the contract for important parts of the Vogel & Noot Group. Here, Amazone secured the plough factory including all rights for the plough programme. This enabled Amazone, supplementing its existing Cayron series of ploughs, to immediately include in its portfolio five further models of mounted reversible ploughs in differing sizes and designs. The new series, with the name Cayros, were initially introduced in November in their new green-orange colour at various international exhibitions.

Also investment in the expansion of the different factory sites continued unabatedly in 2016. In Hude-Altmoorhausen, the new painting facility started operation in November enabling all Hude produced products to be delivered now with an even higher-grade KTL primer coat and powder coating. At a cost of 20 million Euros, this new facility represents the biggest individual investment in the history of the company.

At the Hasbergen-Gaste factory, Amazone has invested 2 million Euros in a new Test Centre. The new building covers an area of 3,000 m²  and will house prototype construction, test beds and electronic laboratories; this doubles the capacity of its research and test sector at this site. The employees in the test centre look after the assembly, commissioning and the testing of functional models and prototypes within the sectors of fertilising application and crop protection machinery. With the ever-increasing development in electronics, it means that there is a dedicated electronics department with offices, an E-laboratory, a measurement workshop for new technology and a sterile test room for electronic components within the new test centre.

Amatechnica inspired the visitors
As in every post Agritechnica year, in June 2016 the “Amatechnica” field day was held. Over the last few years it has become a tradition that, at this international in-house exhibition, all the Amazone innovations from the previous Agritechnica are shown in practical operation. The visitors’ response to this event was huge: 4,000 farmers, contractors and sales partners from Germany and 2,000 visitors from 29 export countries joined in this major event.

New developments for new customers
Also in 2016 Amazone has introduced various innovations to the market to influence both old and new customers. So, for instance, the Catros Special, a new cost-effective series of mounted compact disc harrows in 2.5, 3, 3.5 and 4 m working widths was introduced. Here the most important difference to the classic Catros 01, where the stagger of both disc rows can be adjusted, is that the disc rows on the new Catros 03 Special are fixed.

Also with the new, trailed Catros+ TX, in 7, 8 and 9 m working widths and with a central transport axle, Amazone has filled the gap between the existing programme of the 3 to 6 m wide Catros and the bigger Catros+ 12003-2TS in 12 m working width. Amazone, throughout 2016, with its compact disc harrows, cultivators, rotary harrows and rotary cultivators and the strongly expanded plough programme became a top supplier in the sector of soil tillage.

In the seed drill sector, Amazone has offered since March 2016 the new 6 m Cirrus 6003-2 and 6003-2C large area trailed cultivator drills. Both machines can be equipped from choice, depending on the individual farm situations, with either the proven RoTeC single disc or with the new TwinTeC+ double disc coulter system.

The second innovation in sowing technology is the mechanical Cataya sowing combination. It exists of the Cataya 3000 Super, designed for professional ar-able farms, which, from choice, can be combined with the new KE 3001 rotary harrow or the new KG or KX 3001 rotary cultivator. Equipped with the new TwinTeC double disc coulters and with ISOBUS technology, also the Cataya provides new important impulses for the sowing technology.

An innovation in the range of fertilising technology is the dynamic DynamicSpread part-width section control for the ZA-TS Hydro mounted spreader and the ZG-TS Hydro trailed spreader. Thanks to newly developed software, these spreaders are able to control up to 64 or 128 part-width sections resulting in the dynamic matching of spreading width and application rate. This enables significantly more precise spreading in wedge shaped fields, in short work or when working around obstacles.

With regard to crop protection, the demand for sprayers with AmaSwitch and AmaSelect electric individual nozzle control has developed very well. Both systems, in combination with the GPS-Switch headland and part-width section control, enable automatic individual nozzle switching across 50 cm part-width sections, resulting in even more precision in wedge shaped fields, in short work and on the headland. The amount of overlap is significantly reduced, on the headland, for instance, by up to 85 %. Depending on field shape, working width and number of part-width sections, both AmaSwitch and also AmaSelect result in considerable savings in active chemical agent compared with the usual crop techniques used up to now.

Also in the sector of municipal equipment, Amazone has included a new model in its programme: The E+S H 751 winter salt spreader. This spreader is equipped with a 750 litre hopper, hydraulic spreading disc drive and a forward speed-related spread rate control and takes over as the flagship model in the Amazone winter salt spreaders model range.

Gold and silver medals at the Agrosalon in Russia
This year in October, at the most important Russian agricultural machinery exhibition; Agrosalon, the Amazone Group was again well-recognised for their innovations. Here the intelligent AmaSpot sensor-nozzle system for part-area site specific crop protection was awarded a gold medal whereas also the Primera DMC 12001-2C direct seed drill and the Catros+ compact disc harrow were awarded a silver medal each.

4th Place in the DLG Image Barometer 2016
In the DLG Image Barometer 2016 for Germany, Amazonen-Werke came out well with superb assessments and overall again achieved 4th place in the agricultural machinery sector. So, Amazone is once again the best ranking of the medium-sized implement manufacturers because the first three places in the Image Barometer are held by the companies Fendt, Claas and John Deere.

Outlook 2017
Despite a restrained market development, the forecast in turnover from the Amazone directors is optimistic for the 2017 financial year. So, they expect – if the current economic climate is maintained – a slight increase in turnover. "We are convinced that the growth of the Amazone Group does not solely depend on the general development of the market but also on the increasing demand for our products. With our new ploughs and all the other innovations, we are better positioned than ever before." Also the exploitation of new regional markets is on the agenda for 2017. The medium to long-term trend for the development of the agricultural machinery industry, and especially of the Amazone Group, the directors believe will be furthermore positive.