The Krone Group reports sales of more than $1.89 billion for 2014, an increase of 9% on the previous year.
Domestic sales for the Group grew by 5% over the previous year to a new high of $542 million. At the same time, export sales increased by 11%. This means that the Krone Group booked 28% of its turnover in Germany and 72% in exports.
The Commercial Trailers division augmented revenue by nearly 17% to approximately $1.27 billion (previous year: $1.1 billion). Germany remains Krone's primary market, which generates around 28% of the company's revenues. In foreign markets, sales have risen by 20% from $764 million to $916 million; the most important export markets are Scandinavia, the Baltic states and Eastern Europe.
After four very strong years in which the agricultural equipment and spare parts side of the business surged ahead, the financial year 2013/2014 registered a slight downturn. Thus, revenue from the Agricultural Machinery division ran to $647 million compared with $666 million in the previous twelve-month period. This overall figure breaks down as follows: Germany 28%, Central and Northern Europe 33%, Eastern Europe 14% and overseas countries 25%.
In the past financial year too, Krone continued with its planned investment in the Spelle site. The construction of the Technology Center was yet a further step in the systematic implementation of the MBK 2015 action plan launched in 2010 and aimed at a long-term restructuring of processes in the Agricultural Machinery plant.
In the Commercial Trailers division, investment focused on the development of the ‘All-in Krone’ trailer where all parts are branded with the Krone name and stamped with a Krone replacement part number. This gives road transport operators have a single point of contact on all issues relating to service, maintenance and spare parts. In parallel, Krone has significantly strengthened its position in the service area and has opened a completely new online shop for its commercial trailers. Furthermore, the company invested heavily in data management and set up teams with the appropriate expertise at the Spelle and the Werlte sites.
The average number of people employed around the world (permanent staff) by the Krone Group increased to 2,614 (previous year: 2,406) during the financial year 2013/2014. This figure includes 203 apprentices (previous year 139). The rise in employee numbers is partly accounted for by the employment of a number of temporary workers at the Agricultural Machinery plant in Spelle.
“The past year was an exhausting but also a successful one for us,” says CEO Bernard Krone. “We have fulfilled our responsibilities and done our homework thoroughly. It is not only in terms of production technology that we lead the way; we have also consolidated our position as a complete service provider for all our machinery and trailers. This is a solid foundation on which we can build in the next few years and continue to grow in markets old and new.”