Claas reports net sales of just over €3.6 billion (2015/€3.8 billion) this year, and income before taxes of €93 million (2015/€158 million). The company blames the slightly lower performance on the consistently weak global market for professional agricultural equipment, which declined significantly in many regions again this year, and during the past three years has seen the combine harvester market shrink by 50% in North America and 22% in Europe. The firm benefited from an increase in sales in Eastern Europe and stable development in France during 2016, but sales decreased in all other regions. Overall, the firm reckons to have maintained its position well in rapidly shrinking markets, with double-digit growth in Eastern Europe having a stabilising effect.

Investment in research and development reached a new record high of €214 million (2015/€203 million). One in every ten Claas employees now works in R+D, but employee numbers worldwide fell slightly to 11,300 as of the end of September 30 (2015/11,535). This reflects the shrinking global agricultural equipment market, says the company, which expects the global market to further shrink next year. A slight fall in sales is anticipated during 2017, but a stable income before taxes.