Despite a market environment that remains tense, the Krone Group generated sales of around 2.5 billion euros in the 2021/2022 financial year (01.08.2021 – 31.07.2022), more than 15 percent above the previous year’s level (around 2.2 billion euros).
The effects of the Corona pandemic, the ongoing war in Ukraine, the growth of the world’s population to eight billion, climate change and rising prices for more and more people, the imponderables have increased enormously, especially in the course of the last year. The secure supply of food as well as reliable and professional logistics are once again increasingly moving into the focus of society. That is why future-oriented concepts in the field of agricultural technology and the commercial vehicle industry are currently in demand.
“In times of increasingly fragile supply chains in a globalised economic world and in a rapid technical development characterised by strong upheavals, it is more important than ever to set up one’s own company solidly and make it fit for the future. For this reason, we are particularly grateful that we have made good progress in this direction in the past financial year,” says Bernard Krone, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the Krone Group.
Turnover and earnings
In the Commercial Vehicles Division, sales amounted to approximately 1.7 billion euros; this corresponds to an increase of 22.9 percent compared to the previous year (1.374 billion euros). Krone was also able to make further gains in the agricultural machinery segment; thanks to an increase of 14.7 million euros, sales reached 828.3 million euros (previous year 813.6 million euros). Domestic sales increased by 139.9 million euros (25.4 percent) to 690.8 million euros, which means that the Krone Group generated 27.4 percent of its sales in Germany. Approximately 32.1 percent of domestic sales were generated by the Agricultural Equipment business unit and 67.0 percent by the Commercial Vehicles business unit. Due to the unforeseeable cost increases in material & energy purchasing, the Group result was under pressure. It fell slightly to 84.6 million euros before income taxes for the 2021/2022 business year. The return on sales before taxes was 3.4 percent. This was mainly due to the areas of aftersales and other services.
Research and development
In the past financial year, Krone again invested considerable amounts in research and development. In the agricultural machinery sector, for example, the Krone BiG Pack square balers and the Bale Collect collection wagons were further developed. A highlight was the presentation of the joint project Combined Powers, a cooperation between Lemken and Krone.
An autonomous towing vehicle was developed that can carry out six work processes in the field. In the commercial vehicles segment, a major focus of development activity was on rounding off the product portfolio: the WK 4.0 swap body product generation was made ready for series production and the development of the new Cool Liner was completed. Krone presented innovative automated container chassis, intensified its cooperation with Trailer Dynamics on the electrified semi-trailer and started series production of the new refrigeration unit in a joint project with Liebherr.
In both divisions, software products and electronic developments continue to gain in importance. In agricultural engineering, for example, more than 70 partners and software products are now connected to the Agrirouter. In the commercial vehicle sector, the scope of services in telematics and other digital services for trailers has been further expanded. One example of a cross-divisional development is the solar telematics solution Krone Smart Collect Solar, which was successfully introduced in both the agricultural technology and commercial vehicle sectors.
Dr. David Frink, CEO of Bernard Krone Holding SE & Co.KG, sees the extraordinary commitment of the employees as a decisive factor for the success of the past business year: “Despite all the challenges of this time, we have managed together to successfully further expand the company with its numerous business areas. This special loyalty of the staff to Krone as an employer, the proximity to customers and the solid financial strength form a stable basis for future developments.”