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CBM - Keeping on track in challenging times

Sales in 2015 have felt the negative effects of declining markets in Europe and North America. However important decisions in the past year should consolidate current position and provide path to solid growth in the coming years. Innovations in the field of hitches announced for 2016th

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Market developments in 2015 were very challenging for the ag.-industry and also for CBM. Turnover of the family owned CBM group from Modena, Northern Italy, - specialized in three point linkages and hitches - felt the effects of the overall economic downturn; The total turnover of the Italian family-owned company from Modena, northern Italy, - a specialist in three-point attachments and systems - was also affected by the general economic weaken the markets.

Thus the total turnover of the CBM group in 2015, was of  160 mio. € which in light of market developments for tractors in this period is described as satisfactory. However it still maintained its market share in North America and Europe and in particular Germany and Austria.

The long-term strategic direction and development of the company prove especially important in difficult years like 2015 as correct emphasizes the company's management.

Key strategic decisions "The last two years was a period of important and decisive decisions for CBM which we have successfully managed ... " ..." says Enrico Cornia, managing director and owner of the traditional family company which celebrates its 50th anniversary next year. Together with his father Omero, founder of the company, he expanded the company into an international market leader for linkages and hitches with an exceptional position at European and American tractor manufacturers.

"Of course, the market trend in the sales of tractors left their mark on us..." concedes Cornia "... with a market share of 90% in top links and 70% in lower link hooks in the OEM business this cannot be avoided completely..."

The introduction of new lower linkage hooks of the series "OptiLock" in 2014 and the presentation of the new HDPLUS series in 2015 have however contributed to CBM generating an additional revenue in this area which helped to partially offset declines in the European OEM business.

European sites are expanded in the long term. In the parent factory in Modena investments were made for the optimization of logistics and production last year. Cornia confirmed the further expansion of the site with a focus on production and research / development in the location Modena as well as in its plant in Lublin, Poland .

In the subsidiary company MITA where CBM develops and produces its own hydraulic and electronic components, the area `Development Hydraulics & Electronic' will be further extended to expand the leading position in the mid performance segment.

And also the manufacturing plant site in Poland where CBM operates one of the most modern plants for sheet metal processing and tractor assembly, will be continuously invested.

Here the CBM hitching technology from the automatic hitch up to advanced 80mm ball head hitches are developed and produced. Starting this year, the site will therefore gradually expanded into CBM´s a competence center for hitching technology.

Successful development in Germany As gratifying describes sales manager Barry O'Keeffe also the development of CBM in Germany and Austria. Of course, the sagging tractor market in Europe also can be felt and a decline in sales in the OEM area had to be accepted. At the same time, this decline could also be offset partially by an increase in demand in the replacement business.

"Our new hook OptiLock and the HDPLUS series came just at the right time and the reactions of our visitors at Agritechnica showed us that we are here on the right track." states the Irishman, who has held this position for 19 years at CBM. He is certain that this trend will continue in 2016, because in the next few weeks, the marketing of the new hydraulic side stabilizers will be launched, for which there was already positive response from the press and from professional users.

Initiative 2016: Hitches For 2016 CBM announced intensified activities in the area of their hitching products. With the expansion of the site in Poland as a center of excellence for hitching technology, the Northern Italians want to make these products more visible and get in the focus of the customers in the future. The company has, as CBM states, in this area excellent products and interesting new solutions.

With the planned measures and also with new product innovations in this product range in the next few months, farmers, OEMs and dealers markets shall be informed intensively and become convinced.

Targets in the company's anniversary 2017 CBM celebrates its 50th anniversary. "As a family company we have experienced an important but also solid growth in this long period and have in a highly competitive world market reached a position in the front row ..." noted Cornia, not without pride on what has been done in recent years.

"We expect for the current year in Europe a market in line with 2015 volumes for tractors and 2017 hopefully the market will return to grow so that we can celebrate our 50th anniversary on a positive note.

The prospects for achieving this objective, appear not bad.