Despite another financial year full of challenges due to the Corona pandemic, the Amazone Group was able to remain on its course of growth and pass the next sales mark of 650 million euro.
The annual balance sheet of the manufacturer of agricultural and groundcare machinery therefore shows a significant increase in sales for the second time in a row. After a 15% rise in 2020, sales this time round increased by 22%. As a result, total sales of the family-owned company have reached a new high of 655 million euro in the financial year 2021 (previous year 2020: €537 million). “This is a huge success for both the entire Amazone Group and our partners”, say Christian Dreyer and Dr. Justus Dreyer, the two owners, who are delighted with the results. “The customer interest in modern Amazone agricultural machinery for more precise working and cost-saving performance in the field is very high, both nationally and internationally.“ The Amazone Group was also able to profit extensively in 2021 from its innovative strength and wide overall product range across farms of all sizes and in both conventional and organic agriculture.
This is particularly important as a result of the strong position in all major export markets, which account for a total of more than 80 percent of sales. Amazone meets the different demands in these countries by developing application-oriented machine concepts through continuous dialogue with local agricultural practitioners, advisers and the scientific community.
Investments and expansion of in manufacturing plants
The number of employees worldwide increased to about 2,000 in the course of the year. Expenditure on research and development amounted to more than 5 % of sales. The company again invested a double-digit million amount in tangible assets in the financial year 2021.
The Amazone Group is currently expanding its production capacities in view of the enhanced product range in machinery with larger working widths and higher output capacity. For example, the first extension of the Bramsche site is already under construction just three years after the official opening. These additional facilities, with an area of 8,000 m², will enable a more efficient production of all Amazone crop protection sprayer ranges in future. In addition to this, there will be additional space for machine testing and quality optimisation of these technologically-sophisticated products. The associated relocation of some assembly lines will in turn create extra capacity for the expansion of the Global Parts Centre at the Tecklenburg-Leeden site to further improve the high level of service worldwide.
Success through innovative strength
“Issues surrounding maximum yield levels, cost efficiency and sustainable development play a decisive role in modern crop production,” say the owners. “An economically-viable increase in performance also includes a more efficient use of all inputs.” Amazone has already responded to this with many innovative solutions for part-area, site-specific farming. For example, the first of the UX SmartSprayer have been in practical use in the field since the spring of 2021. Equipped with high-precision camera technology and image processing from Bosch, the system detects weeds in row crops and enables spot micro-application in real time in conjunction with the agronomical know-how of xarvioTM. This technology will allow the use of crop protection agents to be reduced by up to 80 %.
Amazone is addressing the increasing challenges with regard to the availability of active ingredients and various environmental regulations with the new DirectInject direct feed system for the UX trailed sprayers. The system has been awarded an Agritechnica silver medal and enables specific products to be added as a part-area application by quickly and flexibly metering them into the nozzle during spraying as and when required. A decisive advantage for reducing working time, machine costs and the use of plant protection agents while protecting the environment at the same time.
The company is also strong in the mechanical weed control sector with Schmotzer hoeing products. “Hoeing has great potential in integrated crop production at an international level. We see the development in terms of the greening of modern agriculture, e.g. by combining inter-row hoeing with band spraying. In combination with liquid fertilisation and a targeted, or even selective crop protection treatment in the same pass, further possibilities for optimising arable farming will be opened up in the future,” Christian Dreyer and Dr Justus Dreyer point out.
Soil tillage plays an enormous role in terms of field hygiene in view of the increasing resistance to and the reduction in the use of plant protection agents. In this respect, Amazone is launching the new 6-stagger Cobra shallow cultivator this year. In addition to the optimum incorporation of crop residues, a high proportion of fine soil is produced. This ensures optimum germination conditions.
In the area of precision seeding technology, the Precea family has been expanded to include a folding 6-metre version. This precision, high-speed machine in up to 12 rows can be optionally equipped with a fertiliser hopper on the rear or with the FTender front hopper for increased performance.
Demands on precision and operational comfort have also long since found their way into groundcare. Amazone offers a completely newly developed, ISOBUS-compatible winter gritting spreader for salt and brine application in the shape of the new IceTiger. The unique material feed via a belt floor enables even the smallest quantities to be precisely controlled and optimally spread via an electric delivery point adjustment. The IceTiger was awarded a silver medal by the jury at the demopark 2021 exhibition.
The machines for professional lawn maintenance have also been developed on with an increasing demand from local authorities for the cost-effective Groundkeeper mounted or the Profihopper self-propelled mower/collectors.
New organisational structure for higher customer focus
Amazone moved its competence areas of soil tillage, sowing, fertilisation and plant protection further into the centre of the company through the introduction of a new product line structure last year. An experienced Product Line Manager is in charge of each sector. “In particular, the new structuring brings us even closer to our customers and ensures that all areas of the company involved are fully integrated,“ the owners emphasise.
The future of intelligent crop production
Amazone’s goal is the continuous further development of modern precision technology for more sustainability combined with high yield levels and cost efficiency for use in the most diverse arable farming regions. “We see a great potential for ourselves and for our sales partners to promote new arable farming systems through flexible and efficient agricultural machinery”, say the Amazone shareholders. “We are concentrating on increasing biodiversity in connection with extended crop rotations, intensive catch crop establishment and the use of companion plants in our long-term Controlled Row Farming field trials at our new trials centre in Wambergen in the immediate vicinity of our Gaste factory. Autonomous agricultural machinery can also be tested in this row-based cultivation project in the medium to long term. Amongst other partners, AMAZONE has been cooperating with AgXeed, a start-up from the Netherlands. The central theme of the development is the autonomisation of the work processes of the mounted implements via open, standardised interfaces.”
For Amazone, sustainability starts with the manufacture of its products. The company has installed large-scale photovoltaic systems with high energy outputs on the roofs of its production facilities. Together with the use of the company’s in-house combined heat and power plants, it has been possible to reduce CO2 emissions by about 7 million tonnes within the last eight years at the German sites alone.
The driving forces for sales in the coming years will be the extended product range offering innovative Amazone machinery adapted to the soils and climate found in the most diverse regions of the world and the further development of new machine concepts and digital solutions for sustainable food production.
A meaningful statement on the further development of the business is difficult to make at the moment due to the various exceptional economic and political influences. The current high order intake level within the Amazone Group is met on the one side by a difficult situation with supply, which is currently leading to bottlenecks and delays in production, despite the most intensive efforts to procure more components. However, on the other hand, the consequences to the business from the on-going conflict in Ukraine can hardly be assessed at the moment but is of great relevance. Regardless of the business interest, we are watching the developments with great concern. Our thoughts are with the people, our employees and partners in the affected areas.