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Buhler boosts profit in Q1

Demand for high-horsepower Versatile tractors boosted first-quarter profits and sales for Winnipeg farm equipment maker Buhler Industries.

The company on Monday posted net earnings of $4.4 million on $57.1 million in revenues for its Q1 ending Dec. 31, up from $1.2 million on $32.4 million in the year-earlier period.

Buhler said the “increasing demand for high-horsepower tractors” in its North American and overseas markets had a “positive impact” on Q1 revenue, which rose 76 per cent.

Buhler, now majority-owned by Russian combine manufacturer Rostselmash, undertook an aggressive rebranding campaign starting last fall for its tractor manufacturing division, branding all its tractor production under the Versatile name, which the company has owned since 2000.

Buhler’s various divisions, including Farm King, Allied and Inland, make various ag implements such as tractors, front-end loaders, augers, snowblowers, hay handling equipment and other tools at factories in Winnipeg, Morden, Man. and Fargo, N.D.

It also operates eight warehouses in Canada and the U.S. and now markets into the former Soviet Union through Rostselmash’s dealer network.

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