The Claas Group has finished its 2023 fiscal year and announced excellent results, with sales of €6.1 billion, equating to an increase of just under 25%.
“Fiscal year 2023 was very successful,” said CEO Jan-Hendrik Mohr. “The substantial leap in sales in the past year reflects the high demand for agricultural equipment. Once the supply chain situation eased following the pandemic, we were able to systematically tackle the very high order backlog and deliver our agricultural machinery to our customers around the world, thanks to strong teamwork.”
“Sales again improved significantly in North America, and especially in Europe,” added CFO Henner Böttcher. “In addition, we managed to more than triple income before taxes.” That particular indicator rose to €522.3 million from €166.3 million in the previous year. Net income increased to €347.1 million. “The successful issuance of €350 million in debt certificates and the increase of the syndicated loan to €850 million with simultaneous extension of duration allowed us to significantly strengthen our financial flexibility.”
New products gain recognition
The latest Xerion 12 range was launched in the summer – the company’s most powerful tractor. At Agritechnica, the flagship model 12.650 Terra Trac was named Tractor of the Year 2024, while the entire series was awarded the Farm Machine 2024.
Claas also completed its latest generation combine range with the Evion, which is tailored to small farms and joins the Lexion and Trion series.
Intelligent agricultural equipment
At Agritechnica, Claas also focused on its digital solutions, with new smart machinery and the Claas Connet digital ecosystem, which is due to be launched in selected regions in late 2024.
“Autonomy and artificial intelligence are the trends that will shape the future of agricultural technology, with smart agricultural equipment making an essential contribution to sustainability and – above all – to food security,” said Mr Mohr.
The company has worked both internally and with partners to develop these technologies. In September, it launched the 3A – Advanced Automation & Autonomy alongside Amazone and AgXeed to advance the automation of processes. Continuing its work with AgXeed, Claas also introduced a joint project with thermal drones to spot fawn and breeding nests ahead of autonomous mowing.
2023 also marked fifty years since the first Claas self-propelled forage harvester, which was developed and built at the company headquarters in Harsewinkel.
Another milestone was the 20th anniversary of the Claas standard tractor, following the acquisition of Renault. This coincided with the 200,000th tractor rolling off the production line at Le Mans.
Challenging times ahead
“In the new fiscal year, however, we will have to prepare ourselves for a more difficult market environment,” said Mr Mohr. “While order backlog is returning to normal, the pace of economic activity is slowing perceptibly in our core markets in Central and Western Europe and North America, due in no small part to high inflation and mounting geopolitical tensions. In light of current events, the CLAAS Group will consistently pursue the strategy it has adopted and continue to build on its strengths.”
For more information go to www.claas.co.uk