Claas will remember 2021 as a prosperous year with revenue up by 18.7% to €4.8b and pre-tax earnings of €357m (€158m in 2020). The company reports double-digit growth worldwide, and despite the uncertainty surrounding Brexit, enjoyed a good year in the UK.
“Claas managed to achieve growth despite the supply-side bottlenecks and the pandemic,” says Thomas Böck, chair of the Claas Group executive board, who adds that the company enjoyed a significant improvement in profitability across all world regions.
The drivers of last year’s growth in North America and Eastern Europe were joined by the core markets in Western and Central Europe, including Germany and France.
It is not just revenue that is up this year. The number of Claas employees around the world increased by nearly 5.0% from 11,395 in 2020 to 11,957. The R&D budget rose by 10.5% to a record €262m (2020: €237m), and investments in fixed assets of €138m (2020: €131m) continue at a high level.
Highlights included the reopening of the converted Le Mans tractor plant in May and the completion to the second phase of modernising the combine harvester production facilities in Harsewinkel. The company also expanded its production capacities in Krasnodar, Russia, which can now manufacture four times as many combine harvesters as five years ago.
Looking ahead, the company anticipates stable demand for agricultural machinery in the most important markets in 2022 and expects a rise in revenue and a slightly lower result in a year-on-year comparison.