DULUTH, Ga. — AGCO, a worldwide manufacturer and distributor of agricultural equipment, reported net sales of approximately $2 billion for the first quarter of 2018, an increase of approximately 23.3% compared to the first quarter of 2017. Excluding favorable currency translation impacts of approximately 9.4%, net sales in the first quarter of 2018 increased approximately 14% compared to the first quarter of 2017.
Regional sales compared to the first quarter of 2017 were: North America +31.4%, Europe/Middle East (“EME”) +30.4%, South America (18)%, Asia/Pacific/Africa (“APA”) +21.9%
“AGCO capitalized on strengthening industry demand and delivered solid results in the first quarter,” stated Martin Richenhagen, chairman, president and chief executive officer. “Improved market demand in North America and healthy industry conditions in Western Europe supported sales and margin improvement in those regions resulting in better than expected sales and earnings growth for the company.
“Our weak results in South America reflect the challenging industry environment and lower levels of production, as well as the transition costs associated with localizing newer product technology into our Brazilian factories. While our focus on cost management to mitigate market pressures continues, we are maintaining a strong level of investment in new products and technologies, as demonstrated by an increase in engineering expenses in 2018 over 2017, both in the first quarter, and the total planned for the full year.”
AGCO Regional Net Sales (in millions)
AGCO’s net sales for 2018 are expected to reach $9.3 billion reflecting improved sales volumes, positive pricing as well as acquisition and foreign exchange impacts. Gross and operating margins are expected to improve from 2017 levels due to higher sales as well as the benefits resulting from the company’s cost reduction initiatives, partially offset by increased engineering expenses.