PRINTABLE VERSION   EMAIL TO A FRIEND   RSS FEEDS 16:28 UK, 25th Feb 2013, by Agrimoney.com
John Deere distributor aims at hefty sales growth

Ekotechnika, the largest distributor of foreign farm equipment in Russia, said its sales would continue to expand at "double-digit" rates as it feeds the country's appetite for agricultural development.

Ekotechnika, one of Europe's top three sellers of John Deere equipment, said its sales rose 21% to E169.6m in the year to the end of September, with volumes approaching 2,000 machines.

Operating profits soared 380% to E15.4m, helping support cash flows of E18.3m.

And the German-based group - whose Ekoniva Technika operating business sells in central Russia, the black earth region and Siberia, an area the size of France, Germany and Italy combined – forecast further growth.

Growth ambitions

"We intend to keep up double-digit growth in the coming years," Wolfgang Blasi, the Ekotechnika managing director, said.

Expansion will be spearheaded by the spread of revenues into servicing and spare parts from the new equipment sales currently responsible for the vast majority of business, with taking soaring 36% to E141m in 2011-12.

Revenues from other sources fell.

"Over the coming years both after-sales segments are to be expanded significantly in line with the growing number of customers," the group said.

Ekotechnika said it has a target of doubling sales of new machines, and trebling revenues from parts and servicing, by 2014.

'Great potential'

The group said its growth would be helped by the expansion of agriculture in Russia, which is attempting to become self-sufficient in meat and to raise further its profile as a grains exporter.

"Russia is considered one of the markets offering the greatest potential for international manufacturers, given that the farming sector in the world's largest territorial state is still in need of substantial modernisation," Ekotechnika said.

The company also flagged the extent of the country's farm support spending.

Dmitry Medvedev, Russia's prime minister, earlier this month backed a request by the farm ministry for a further 40bn-42bn roubles ($1.3bn-1.35bn) in state funding for support for farmers, after a second drought in three years last summer dented grain yields and, in lifting feed prices, hurt livestock producers too.

Agricultural empire

Ekotechnika was launched by Stefan Dürr, also the founder and chief executive of farm operator Ekosem-Agrar, who remains the main shareholders in the equipment group.

Indeed, the companies were only separated in 2011.

John Deere equipment accounts for more than two-thirds of sales at Ekoniva Technika, which also sells machinery under brands such as GEA and Grimme.

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