SPELLE, Germany — The Krone Group reported sales of more than €1.6 billion ($1.8 billion) for the last financial year, which represents an increase of 9% on the previous year’s figure of around €1.5 billion ($1.7 billion). Sales within Germany for the Group, which includes the agriculture machinery and commercial trailer divisions, grew by 5% over the previous year to a new high of €459 million ($515 million).  At the same time export sales increased by 11% to €1.167 million ($1.3 billion), resulting in the Krone Group booking 28% of its turnover in Germany and 72% in exports.

The commercial trailer division increased revenue by nearly 17% to approximately €1.08 billion ($1.2 billion). Germany remains Krone's primary market for this division, which generates around 28% of the company's revenues.  In foreign markets sales have risen by 20% from €647 million ($724 million) to €776 million ($868 million).

Following four very strong years of sales in the agricultural equipment division, the financial year 2013-14 registered a slight downturn worldwide but increased in North America. Revenue from this division moved to €548 million ($613 million) compared with €564 million ($631 million) from the previous twelve month period. Percentage of overall sales occurred in the following countries and regions: Germany 28%, Central and Northern Europe 33%, Eastern Europe 14% and overseas countries 25%.

On the balance sheet date, equity capital increased from €316 million ($354 million) to around €354 million ($396 million) while the equity ratio has grown from 43.9% to 46.4%. The Krone Group currently has €614 million ($687 million) vs. previous year €584 million ($654 million) available in the form of medium and long-term capital.

Investment, Strategies, Workforce

In the past financial year, Krone continued with its planned investments in the Krone headquarters located in Spelle, Germany. 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 trailer division, investments focused on the development of the ‘All-in Krone’ trailer where all parts are branded with the Krone name and stamped with a Krone part number. In addition, Krone has significantly strengthened its position in the service area and has opened a completely new online shop for its commercial trailers. The company has also invested heavily in data management and expanded employment to have the appropriate experts at the Spelle, Germany and the Werlte, Germany sites.

The average number of permanent staff employed by the Krone Group around the world increased by 8.6% to 2,614 over the previous financial year in 2013/2014. This includes 203 apprentices.

“The past year was exhausting but also a successful one for us,” says Bernard Krone, Krone CEO. “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.”