Sales declined by 2.9% to €467 million ($519 million) in the fiscal year 2019, down from the record €481 million ($535 million) posted in 2018. Amazone’s joint managing directors, Christian Dreyer and Dr. Justus Dreyer, said confidence remains strong in the agricultural sector, despite the current challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic.

“Even under the current extremely difficult operating conditions, and through the great commitment from the entire Amazone team, we have managed to keep sales for the first quarter of 2020 at a high level,” they said. “On top of the compliance with infection protection and undertaking the recommended measures, the maintenance of production, deliveries and service remain our main goals.

“Deliveries of Amazone agricultural machinery are at a high level and there is a pleasingly good order book. However, negative effects triggered by the coronavirus pandemic or other extreme weather events cannot be ruled out during the remainder of 2020.”

Amazone invested more than 7% of its turnover in research and development during the year, with a particular focus on providing practical solutions for many of the key issues facing the agricultural sector. “Our range of machinery for reduced tillage, mulch sowing and direct sowing, as well as the Schmotzer mechanical weeding equipment, underline this,” the directors say.

The company’s heavy investment in research and development resulted in the release of some 30 innovations, including three Silver Medal winners, at last year’s Agritechnica exhibition in Germany. Other highlights of the year included the opening of two new sales, parts, training and exhibition centers in Doncaster in the UK and Debrecen in Hungary.