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Ekotechnika sales fall, as Russian farmers struggle for credit

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Tractor dealer Ekotechnica reported falling sales, as Russian farmers struggle to access credit, in its first set of results after going public last year.

Ekotechnika is the German holding company for the EkoNiva-Technika Group, the largest dealer of foreign-branded agricultural machinery in Russia, including Deere product.

The company said it "expects business to stabilise in the current financial year," but warned that "general conditions in Russia are unlikely to improve notably in the near future".

Net loss

Ekotechnica made a net loss of E26.6m in the year to Septmber 2015.

This is slightly below the E27.9m loss made in the previous financial year.

But if falls short of earlier estimates, after Ekotechnika in November saw the size of its full year loss at around E25m.

The figures included an exchange rate loss of E16.9 million, as the euro strengthened against the rouble.

Flotation

In November last year, Ekotechnica announced it would be floated on the Dusseldorf stock exchange.

The floatation was achieved by a debt-to-equity swap, which saw convertible debt instruments converted into newly created shares.

Excess shares were sold at E3.50 a piece, implying a nominal E5.4m value for the total deal.

Ekotechnika shares are down 18% since the start of the year, but are up 3% from their initial floatation in December.

The debt-to-equity swap improved the company's balance sheet by around E70m, although the company still holds a balance sheet of –E59.2m.

Falling sales

Ekotechnika saw sales of E109m in the last financial year, down 36% from the previous year, in line with the preliminary figures published in November.

The company ascribed the falling sales to lower demand, due to the high cost of credit in Russia following the economic crisis.

But with financing for new sales hard to come by, farmers are increasing investment in their existing machinery, bringing about a "positive trend" in spare parts sales, Ekotechnika said.

Weaker outlook

Since the spring of 2015, Ekotchnika has reduced its staff by 21%, in response to the "weaker environment".

The weaker outlook was exacerbated by the declining value of the rouble to the Euro.

Over the full year, Ekotechnika saw earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation of E1.2m, compared to earnings of E1.9m over the previous financial year.

Shares in Ekotechnika were unchanged in afternoon deals in Dusseldorf, at E3.60.

By Agrimoney.com

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