Biggest machinery distributor in northern Europe in just five years
The Danish Agro group has become the biggest machinery distributor in northern Europe in just five years.
The group was active in nine different countries in 2018, selling four different brands – CLAAS, John Deere, New Holland and AGCO. Turnover from machinery sales last year increased by EUR 122 million to EUR 473 million, yielding operating profit of EUR 10 million.
Size has never been an objective in itself, but according to the Group CEO of Danish Agro, Henning Haahr, it does give a number of advantages:
"Our aim was to build an organisation and dealer structure quickly in the countries where we have machinery activities. The idea was to ensure focus and efficiency, because we know that having a certain size opens doors and opportunities, along with better relations with manufacturers and suppliers. I am therefore highly satisfied with our progress in 2018 in terms of our structural development."
Focus in Scandinavia in particular continued to be on ensuring a strong CLAAS dealer structure, allowing the group to conclude the acquisition of no less than seven Danish dealers after final approval from the authorities in the spring of 2018. The machinery division also acquired the country's leading auctioneers, Dansk Maskinbørs A/S.
"All these acquisitions were designed to guarantee continuity, respect for the employees and their know-how, and to retain the regional and local management in each business. What we will be looking for in 2019 in each country is to develop ways of working together between all the businesses," explains Haahr.
The group has been active within machinery sales since 2013, a product area that Haahr regards as a natural part of the portfolio of a modern, international agribusiness group that wants to make a difference for its customers.
"Machinery is a major budgetary item for modern farmers. We believe that we have a lot to offer in the structural development process the industry is going through. We have sufficient muscle to deal with the manufacturers on an equal footing, ensuring competitive prices as a result," states Haahr before going on to explain:
"Acquisition of machinery activities in the Baltics has made Danish Agro the biggest customer for CLAAS globally. That gives us a unique advantage on behalf of Danish farmers, when their jointly-owned company has such a strong voice with machinery manufacturers. We can influence development, priorities and prices in particular, and all to the benefit of the farmers we deal with."
The Danish Agro group is currently active within machinery sales in Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and the Czech Republic. An increase in turnover is expected in 2019 to around EUR 675 million.