The German cultivation and seeding specialist Lemken has bought the Dutch company Skeketee – part of its plan to promote mechanical weeding, given the pressure growing on the use of weedkillers.
Turnover was €380 million, an increase of 6%, with export sales making up 77% of volume.
Managing director Anthony van der Ley said he is happy with the development of the company’s sales.
“The turbulent weather had a massive impact on our planning and schedules and put our suppliers under severe pressure,” van der Ley says.
“Fortunately, we are a family-run company working in close cooperation with our customers and business partners. Our employees’ commitment and flexibility have enabled us to process all orders and service requests as quickly as they came.”
Germany, where Lemken’s turnover increased by 8%, remains its best-performing market, followed by Russia despite targets not being met. Other successful markets included Japan with a significant increase in sales, and Australia with its newly restructured distribution network.
Sales results were positive in all product ranges, with plough and compact-disc harrow sectors growing well as did seeder and cultivator sales.
Lemken gained a range of mechanical hoeing equipment by taking over the family-run Dutch company Steketee. It sees good scope for this gear, given the demand for sustainable, environmentally sound cultivation methods.
An advanced camera-system makes these machines (up to 12m working width) well-suited for vegetable and grain crops, allowing farmers to opt for chemical-free weeding.
In 2018 Lemken spent €8.5 million on factory expansions and upgrades, notably new logistics for more efficient supply of materials to assembly lines.
Staff numbers grew by 165 employees to 1635, including 49 employees from Steketee and growth in factory workers and extra personnel at Lemken India.