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Equipment firm Buhler’s year-end ledger improves

Versatile tractor maker expects further improvement in 2018

Improved sales in the North American market have helped push the 2017 results for Canadian farm equipment maker Buhler Industries back into the black.

The Winnipeg-based company, which makes Versatile tractors and Farm King implements, on Friday booked year-end net income of about $500,000 on gross revenue of $312 million, up from a $2.7 million loss on $274.1 million in sales in 2016.

“Orders in North America have returned to near historical levels, with the company seeing an increase in sales to the United States,” the company said in a release.

Buhler, which since 2007 has been majority-owned by Russian combine manufacturer Rostselmash, also noted Friday its sales into Eastern Europe “remained steady” in 2017. The Winnipeg company sells into Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan through Rostselmash’s dealer network.

Looking ahead, Buhler said its “sales for 2018 are expected to increase over 2017 results.”

Farm equipment demand in the U.S. is “slowly increasing,” the company said, as farmers “adjust to depressed commodity prices.”

Canadian sales are expected to remain steady, Buhler said, and its margins overall are expected to improve.

Increased revenue in 2017 was offset by more spending on research and development, interest expense and a loss on foreign exchange, Buhler said.

Its 2017 bottom line was also partly offset by a one-time $4.3 million gain it reported in fiscal 2016 on a sale of intellectual property and tooling from an “obsolete product line.” — AGCanada.com Network

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