Lemken, the German tillage equipment manufacturer, held its sales steady last year in what it has described as a “difficult market environment”.

In 2016, the firm notches up sales revenues of €325m – a similar level to the previous year. The number of employees increased by 100 to over 1400.

According to Lemken, turnover and business in the main markets in Europe, especially Germany and France, continued to be weak, although the UK was relatively stable considering the impending exit from the EU. Increases in Lemken’s Central and Eastern European sales, where Romania, Hungary and Bulgaria are the largest export regions, were particularly good. Business also increased in Russia; sales in Ukraine doubled.

Top 10 markets

Lemken’s top 10 markets also include Canada and China, where the family-run entity set up an assembly and sales subsidiary three years ago.

In 2016, Germany contributed 26% to Lemken’s total sales, with the remaining Western European countries making up 28%. Eastern Europe accounted for 33%. The USA/Canada contributed 6%. In total, exports accounted for 74% of the firm’s turnover.

“Good results” in the spare parts business also had a positive impact on the overall result, according to the company.

Almost 13,000 implements

Lemken manufactured a total of 12,809 implements during 2016. Ploughs made up the largest share of this; they also delivered the strongest growth compared to the previous year.

New implements to be launched onto the market in 2017 include the Solitair 25 generation of pneumatic seed drills.

There is also good news for fans of electronics. All ISOBUS-capable implements will be equipped with the smaller, “more sophisticated” CCI-50 terminal with a 5.6in display from 2017 onwards.

A number of new facilities were built by Lemken during 2016, including a new training facility. The aptly-named AgroFarm comprises training halls and arable land, to provide practical training for dealers and end-users.

It has come a long way, since the company’s origin’s in a blacksmith’s shop in 1780.