LEADING farm technology manufacturer Amazone, this week announced a strong financial result for 2019, despite the challenges posed by a second dry European summer, trade conflicts and infrastructure problems.
Sales declined slightly, as expected, by 2.9 per cent to $775 million, down from the record $798m posted in 2018.
Amazone's joint managing directors Christian Dreyer and Justus Dreyer said confidence remained strong in the agricultural sector, despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Even under the current extremely difficult operating conditions and through the great commitment from the entire Amazone team, we have managed to keep sales for the first quarter of 2020 at a high level," they said.
"On top of the compliance with infection protection and undertaking the recommended measures, the maintenance of production, deliveries and service remain our main goals.
"Our machines are urgently needed by farmers and contractors for the production of food and thus for our food security, not just now, but also in the future.
"Deliveries of Amazone agricultural machinery are at a high level and there is a pleasingly good order book.
"But negative effects triggered by the coronavirus pandemic or other extreme weather events cannot be ruled out during the remainder of 2020."
Amazone invested more than seven per cent of its turnover in research and development during the year, with a particular focus on providing practical solutions for many of the key issues facing the agricultural sector.
"Our range of machinery for reduced tillage, mulch sowing and direct sowing, as well as the Schmotzer mechanical weeding equipment, underline this," the directors' statement said.
"Extremely precise fertiliser spreaders offering need-based, part-area, site-specific fertilisation and the new digital solutions for integrated plant protection, such as the electric single nozzle control, are also important solutions for saving resources and protecting the environment.
"Amazone has been offering farmers for many years machinery which has been optimised for use in accordance with our '3C' cost-cutting concept across the world.
"Innovative equipment, adapted to both soil and climate, will be the driving force behind our sales in the forthcoming years."
The company's heavy investment in research and development resulted in the release of some 30 innovations, including three Silver Medal winners, at last year's Agritechnica Show in Germany.
Other highlights of the year included the opening of two new sales, parts, training and exhibition centres in Doncaster in the United Kingdom and Debrecen in Hungary.
Amazone is a global leader in fertiliser spreading, spraying, cultivation and seeding technology.
Established in Germany in 1883, the family-owned company employs more than 1900 staff, including 130 apprentices, across six manufacturing sites.
More than 80 per cent of the company's production is exported.
In Australia, Amazone product is distributed by CLAAS Harvest Centre and selected independent dealerships.