Claas makes sound profit despite rise in input costs

CLAAS, THE family owned manufacturer of agricultural machinery is set to return double-digit growth in sales and profits this year.

Rüdgier Günther, Claas chief executive, told the Financial Times EU enlargement and the successful implementation of an efficiency and cost cutting plan had ensured Claas could offset the rise in steel and oil prices without affecting its bottom line. 

The company’s move in to tractor production with the purchase of the agricultural division of Renault two years ago is also credited with propelling the company’s fortunes.

Analysts had told the firm that should it have failed to take such measures the rise in input costs would have wiped out this year’s profit.

Claas is the world’s third largest manufacturer of combine harvesters behind John Deere and CNH.  

During 2004 the company had revenues of €1.9bn (£1.31bn) giving an operating profit of €72m (£49.66m).

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