Buhler cutting overhead to boost margins

Tractor and farm equipment maker Buhler Industries has added financing from its majority owner to a regime of cost cuts in a bid to lift its quarterly results out of the red.

Citing “depressed” sales due to “weak” commodity prices, the Winnipeg company on Thursday booked a net loss of $4.4 million on $57.3 million in revenues for its first quarter ending Dec. 31, down from a $5.8 million loss on $74.6 million in its year-earlier Q1.

Buhler, the maker of Versatile tractors and Farm King implements, said it already expects its sales in fiscal 2019 to come in below its 2018 level of $288 million.

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However, it said Thursday, it also aims to “significantly reduce its losses in 2019 as it focuses on margin improvement.”

Specifically, Buhler said it has “already reduced overhead costs at the beginning of the year through staff reductions and other cost-cutting measures.”

The company also noted a US$5 million (C$6.62 million) loan from its controlling shareholder during the quarter.

That shareholder, Russian ag equipment maker Rostselmash, is “willing to provide financial support until profitability improves,” Buhler said.

Buhler also reiterated Thursday it plans to start shipping its new 170- to 250-hp tractor platform early in fiscal 2019, following “significant investments in product development over the last few years.” — Glacier FarmMedia Network

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