the Krone Group finished the past 2017/2018 financial year (1 Aug 2017 – 31 Jul 2018) with another record turnover of about 2.1 billion euros which marks a significant increase over the previous result (1.9 billion euros).
Germany as the home market accounted for 582.9 million euros, a rise of 67.4 million euros (13.1%). About 67.4% of the domestic sales were accounted for by the commercial vehicles division and, 32.6% by the agricultural machinery business.
Sales in markets outside Germany amounted to 1.5 billion euros, nearly 171 million euros (12.4%) up over the previous year. Nearly 71% of these export sales were generated by the commercial vehicles business and 29.1% by the agricultural machinery division. As such, the international business accounts for 72.7% in total sales which is roughly equivalent to the level of the previous year (72.8%).
The Krone Group employed 4,897 staff in the past financial year (4,497 permanent staff in the previous year). This figure includes 278 apprentices (previously 243). The increase in permanent staff members is accounted for by an increase in business activities and the expansion of our sales networks in both divisions. Commercial Vehicles S.A. employed 2694 staff in the past financial year and Krone Agriculture 2063 members of staff whereas 140 members were on the payroll of the Holding company, working at various offices and locations of the Group.
In the financial year 2017/2018, the balance total increased to 1,130.2 million euros from 1,031.3 million euros. Total investments of 67.0 million euros (previously 76.0 million euros) and changes in the consolidated group of 1.1 million euros are offset by depreciation of 28.0 million euros in both business segments. The growth mainly results from a number of investments in various production sites.
Liquidity increased by 26.5 million euros to 147.3 million euros. This was mainly accounted for by the decrease in receivables from goods delivered and services provided and the increased annual surplus.
On account of the annual surplus, equity capital increased from 486.1 million euros to 533.8 million euros on the balance sheet date. The equity ratio increased slightly from 47.1% to 47.2% despite the again higher balance sheet total.
In the 2017/2018 fiscal year, the medium and long-term debt capital increased to 325.6 million euros from 290.4 million euros. The Group currently has 859.7 million euros (previously 776.5 million euros) available in the form of medium and long-term capital. This covers both fixed assets and the entire stock assets as well as many of the receivables.
Investing in future growth
Total investments made by the Krone Group in the past financial year amounted to 67.0 million euros, 53.8 million euros of which were spent on tangible assets, 4.9 million euros on intangible assets and 8.3 million euros on financial assets. The highest single investment of about 40 million euros was the new coating centre at the Werlte production site. Further investments in the reported period were made in the new and automated component manufacturing line at the Herzlake site. The Spelle site implemented various measures to expand its manufacturing and assembly capacities. In addition to investing in modern clamping and quick-swapping systems that reduce set-up times the division advanced the development of a universal tool management system.
Bernard Krone, Managing Partner of the Krone Group, is delighted with the company performance in the 2017/2018 financial year. “The repeated increase in sales bears testimony of our successful strategy of positioning ourselves as a provider of excellence of comprehensive services for commercial trailers and agricultural machines. Furthermore, as a medium-sized and family-run enterprise we benefit from being quick, flexible and innovative. An equity ratio of 47% gives us a solid financial foundation that gives us the entrepreneurial leeway to implement further innovations and hence continue the path of sustained growth. Furthermore, the diversification in commercial trailers and farm machinery offers us exceptional opportunities as we develop practical solutions for both types of products, helping our customers around the globe to meet their challenges. A rapidly growing world population calls for an increased and more efficient food production and this inevitably involves an increase in freight transportation. Digitisation plays a key role in this context. Already today, Krone provides a wide range of future-oriented solutions for smart farm machines and smart trailers already today.”
Further details from Krone Commercial Vehicles and Krone Agriculture
Krone Commercial Vehicles
The Commercial Vehicles Group finished its 2017/2018 financial year with a turnover of 1.49 billion euros, an increase of 13.6% over the previous year. 26.4% of these revenues were generated in the German market which continues to be the most important individual market accounting for a 10.2% increase to 393.1 million euros. Other key markets were the Western European markets representing 42.6% of sales (previously 43.8%) and Eastern Europe representing 22.0% (previously 21.6%).
Krone invested around 40 million euros in the new coating centre at the Werlte production site, the highest single investment in the company's entire history. The ultra-modern cathodic dip-painting and powder-coating facility gives trailer chassis and semi trailers maximum protection against environmental hazards Other investments involved the new parts centre as the central warehouse serving the entire Krone Commercial Vehicles Group and the automated component manufacturing line, all implemented at the Herzlake site. The Dinklage site saw the installation of a new assembly line for the Krone axles. In addition, a new Krone Centre was inaugurated in the French town of Pusignan near Lyon as another step in expanding our sales network.
In the past financial year, difficult weather conditions and equally difficult political and economic situations met with high production prices. In this environment, the Krone agricultural machinery division finished the 2017/2018 financial year with a turnover of 642.3 million euros, an increase of 10.2% over the previous year. Germany as our strongest market accounted for 29.6% of sales (previously 27.3%). the western European markets for a combined 35.1% (previously 33.1%). Eastern Europe for 11.4% (previously 9.9%). North America for 11.9% (previously 15.4%) and all other countries for 12.0% (previously 14.3%).
Krone continued to systematically expand its product lines and give facelifts to existing models. One of the highlights in the past financial year was the updated Premos pellet harvester and the new forage harvester BiG X 1180 which, at 1156hp, is the world’s most powerful farm machine.
Equally systematic has been the company’s strategy on digitisation and data management, one example being the universal data communication platform which allows machines in mixed fleets to communicate. Furthermore, Krone founded a new company – Datineo. Applied across all divisions within the Krone Group, Datineo offers innovative and reliable software solutions in terms of telematics, Big Data and the Internet of Things.