Claas, one of the world’s most well-known manufacturers of agricultural machinery, increased its revenue in the 2021 fiscal year by 19% to £4 billion.

Pre-tax earnings rose to £304 million, compared to £134 million the previous year.

Thomas Bock, Chair of the Claas Group executive board said: “Claas managed to achieve growth despite the supply-side bottlenecks and the pandemic.

We even registered a double-digit rise in revenue and a significant improvement in profitability across all world regions."

The drivers of last year’s growth in North America and eastern Europe have been joined by the core markets in western and central Europe, including Germany and France, which are important for Claas, according to the company.

The United Kingdom also experienced major growth, despite the significant uncertainty surrounding Brexit.

Research and development spend

Expenditure on research and development at Claas set a new record of £223 million, according to the company's annual results.

Investments in innovative electronic architectures and the digitisation of agricultural processes remained important focus areas, according to Claas.

Investments in fixed assets totalling £117 million continued at a high level. In Le Mans, the 'Future Factory' for tractors was reopened in May following an extensive conversion.

The company also completed the second phase of modernising the combine harvester production facilities in Harsewinkel, Germany.

Claas has also significantly expanded its production capacities in Krasnodar, Russia, which can now manufacture four times as many combine harvesters as five years ago.

Claas workforce

The number of Claas employees around the world rose over the course of the year and was 11,957 at the end of the fiscal year.

In Germany, the number rose by 3.5% to 5,790, and by 4.3% to 2,377  in France.

Group-wide, the number of trainees also increased to 775, of whom 473 were based in Germany.

Outlook

In terms of future outlook, Class said that the supply situation and price development on the procurement markets present a greater risk compared to last year.

Overall, the company anticipates stable demand for agricultural machinery in the most important sales regions during the 2022 fiscal year.

Despite these uncertainties, Claas expects a rise in revenue and a slightly lower result in a year-on-year comparison.