Weaker loonie, lower costs boost Buhler profits despite reduced international sales

Buhler Industries posted record profit on slightly lower revenue last year.

The Winnipeg company saw sales drop to $344 million from the record $361 million set in the previous year.

Profit rose to $19.89 million from $16.36 million the previous year, helped by a more favourable ex-change rate on the Canadian dollar, improved margins and lower operating costs.

The sales reduction was caused by lower demand in Eastern Europe, mostly Russia, and competitive conditions in North America, although sales increased in the United States and Canada, the company said.

Yury Ryazanov, chief executive officer and director, said in the annual report that after buying companies and production facilities over the past few years, Buhler focused last year on marketing its tractors and seeding, harvesting and handling equipment under the Versatile and Farm King brands by expanding its network of dealers.

It also invested in its recently acquired plants to increase capacity, improve quality and lower costs, he said.

The company did not issue dividends, choosing to reinvest profit into research and development of new products. In 2013 it invested $8.5 million into research and development.

The company released its new Versatile four-track articulated tractor called the DeltaTrack last year and also started production of the Versatile 260, 290 and 310 front wheel assist fixed-frame tractors powered by a Cummins QSL 9.0 engine.

Farm King introduced new augers, snow blowers and a fertilizer applicator.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, a measure of cash flow from operations, rose 28 percent to a record $35.2 million.

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