28 January 1999
New Holland profits collapse 30%

NEW Holland of Italy, the worlds second-biggest maker of tractors, is expected to cut jobs after reporting a 30% fall in pre-tax profits for 1998.

Umberto Quadrino, chief executive, sees no grounds for optimism, citing weakness in the world marketplace for the decline.

Demand is poor in Asia and Russia, as well as the USA and Europe. Mr Quadrino forecast no prospect of a recovery before the end of this year.

New Holland reported a pre-tax profit of $453 million (£275m) for the year to December 1998, compared with $640m in 1997. Sales fell to $5.7bn (£3.5bn) from $6bn.

The group expects the US tractor market to decline 15% this year, while the number of machines sold in Europe would fall 5%.

Mr Quadrino says the Asia-Pacific market has now “bottomed out” after tractor sales dropped to 16,000 tractors from 29,000 the year before.

  • Financial Times 28/01/99 page 35
  • The Scotsman 28/01/99 page 25