Pöttinger, based in Grieskirchen, Austria, made a promising start to its financial year which started in August 2019. In the second half of the financial year, the Corona virus brought about a decline in turnover.
The agricultural machinery manufacturer reported sales of €366 million, the second highest volume in business since the company was founded. Although this represents a downturn of 4 per cent compared to the record result of the previous year, it is an increase of more than 3 per cent compared to two years ago. Compared to the industry average, the company is among the leaders in Europe with this relatively small decline. The proportion generated on international markets is around 90 percent. This high degree of internationalisation is thanks to the 1,901 highly trained and dedicated employees, the innovative product range and extensive investments.
As a specialist for the best working results, Pöttinger is always focussed on farmers’ needs. In grassland as well as in tillage and seed drill technology, the product range includes machines for small alpine farms through to high output technology for large farms and contractors. As the world’s No. 1 in loader wagons and as a leader in mower units and mulch drill technology, the Austrian agricultural machinery manufacturer maintains its position on the European market.
The turnover pie split by product
Grassland equipment accounted for around 70 percent of total machine sales during the 2019 financial year, while tillage equipment and seed drill technology account for just under 30 percent of turnover. The company reported that it was possible to maintain sales in stubble cultivation despite a decline in other sectors.
Spare parts sales made a significant contribution to turnover. The Pöttinger spare parts logistics centre opened in 2018 in Taufkirchen has further improved performance for the benefit of customers. As a result Pöttinger was able to maintain efficiency in service and spare parts business even during the crisis. Around 50,000 spare and wear parts are stocked. Growth in spare parts sales is 7 percent. The new wear parts lines (DURASTAR, DURASTAR PLUS) have made a significant contribution here.
Roots in Austria – at home throughout the world
Pöttinger was able to increase turnover in some markets during the 2019/2020 financial year – despite the varied effects of the pandemic. This was mainly due to excellent cooperation with business partners in the worldwide agricultural machinery trade and the company’s subsidiaries established for this purpose in what are now 15 different countries. Exports now account for 90% of production.
Almost 60% of total sales were achieved in Germany, France, Austria, Poland, Czech Republic and Switzerland. Germany with a turnover share of 19% and France with 15% are again the largest single markets. Fortunately, sales in both markets remained more or less constant over the past financial year.
As an Austrian family business, Pöttinger feels a special connection with its home market of Austria. Accordingly, the development of small, alpine equipment is still of great importance. Austria accounted for 10% of total sales in the past financial year. Alongside Germany and France, Austria is still one of the strongest markets. Compared to the previous year, however, the share of total sales remained the same. There is no question that quality made in Austria is rated highly among Austrian farmers.
The downturn caused by the Covid-19 pandemic in some European countries was partially offset by increases in machine sales further afield: Australia with + 68% and the USA with + 67% are the absolute leaders here. Also among the contenders for the title of “sales growth winner” are European countries such as Belgium, Denmark and Sweden, as well as several CIS countries like Kazakhstan and Belarus, plus China and Japan. The sales subsidiaries have done valuable work here.
Pöttinger writes history
In 2021 the agricultural machinery manufacturer will celebrate its 150th anniversary. This event will be accentuated with the completion of the first construction phase of a fourth plant.
A new assembly plant for round balers and large rakes is being built in St. Georgen, not far from company headquarters. The ground-breaking ceremony was held in April 2020. This major investment will once again open up more horizons to the grassland specialist. The construction of the first phase will cost a substantial €25 million. This investment has become necessary because the grassland equipment assembly line at the main plant has reached capacity.
The acquisition of the plough factory in Landsberg/Lech, Upper Bavaria, in 1975 opened the door to the tillage market for grassland specialist Pöttinger. Since then Pöttinger has continuously and consistently expanded its expertise in tillage and invested in the plant in Vodnany (CZ), which was built in 2007. In 2001, with the takeover of the seed drill plant in Bernburg (DE) and its complete reconstruction and expansion, seed drill technology has also become well established as part of the extensive product range.
We remain optimistic because everyone needs agriculture
“Even though the wind has veered, we have continued to stick to the course we have set,” said Gregor Dietachmayr, spokesperson for the Pöttinger Management Team, commenting on the sustainable business strategy and adding.
“With a team of such flexible and loyal employees and the partnership-based cooperation with our business partners all over the world, the company will continue to overcome the challenges that await us in the coming years.” Being able to stick to the course is also thanks to the innovations in product features and in agricultural processes that have been introduced to deliver on the promise of ensuring the best working results.
Optimism that has stood the test of time remains firm, “Our future lies in the creation of modern workplaces, in the further development of our digitalisation strategy, in the conservation of resources and in the cost effectiveness of our products. Nobody can seriously predict how things are going to develop at the moment. But we are hoping that the situation will improve towards the end of the calendar year,” says Dietachmayr.
As an independent family company, Pöttinger feels a close connection to the farming community and has been passionately committed to promoting agriculture for many years, backed by the motto “Everyone needs agriculture”.