Sales at grain handling and storage equipment manufacturer, Ag Growth International Inc. (AGI) increased in 2015 but only because of the acquisition last year of Winnipeg-based Westeel.

Sales in the fourth quarter were up 32 per cent to $122.2 million and up 15.7 per cent for the year to $474.3 million

But excluding Westeel, trade sales decreased six per cent compared to record 2014 sales as significant growth in international markets was more than offset by subdued demand in North America.

Earlier in the week, Winnipeg-based AGI announced the $10.1 million acquisition of Entringer S.A., a Brazilian manufacturer of grain bins, bucket elevators, dryers and cleaners.

The company reported a net loss of $21.35 million in the fourth quarter and $25.3 million for the year.

International sales were up 26 per cent in 2015, but Canadian sales suffered from drought conditions early in 2015 that lowered crop production and U.S. sales suffered from a smaller crop and cautious buying behaviour.

The company expects an improved demand environment in the 2016 crop year. Management expects sales in the first quarter of 2016 to reflect the weak demand levels experienced in the fourth quarter of 2015 but belives existing indicators point towards higher demand for farm equipment in fiscal 2016 compared to 2015.

Despite the bottom line results, the results best analysts' expectations and the stock price is up 10 per cent in morning trading to $30.70.