BRANDT Europe today presented to the media its economic data corresponding to the balance sheet of 2017 and the general forecasts for this year through a press conference in which the general director of the company, Manuel González, and the financial director, Lucía Cepeda, participated.
The subsidiary of the US agricultural leader for Europe, the Middle East and Africa closed 2017 (its first full year of operation after the purchase of the assets of the former Tragusa) with a turnover of 20.5 million, 14% more than the turnover of 2016. This July 1 will be two years since the purchase of the old Tragusa by the American agri-food giant and BRANDT Europe is confident of reaching 22 million in the present year, which would therefore mean growing the turnover more than 22% since the entry of US capital.
The subsidiary for Europe of the American agricultural giant grew in 2017 not only in turnover, but also in gross margin almost two points above, thanks to the incorporation of products with greater added value, especially in the area of fertilizers, based on the powerful R+D+I of the parent company and manufactured in Spain. Specifically, with American technology, but with the development of its own R&D laboratory, BRANDT Europe is manufacturing from its production plant in Carmona 35 new products mostly fertilizers, although there are also adjuvants and biostimulants, which have diversified the commercial portfolio of the company, previously composed of about 50 phytosanitary products and 30 between fertilizers and other products for agriculture.
The incorporation of these products represents an important qualitative leap in the commercial offer of the company, which worked mainly in the field of generics and now enters the market of specialties, more exclusive products, with a greater technological and innovative load, very little competition in the Spanish market, with greater added value for customers and therefore with a better commercial margin. It also represents a commitment to strengthen the fertilizer business line, whose supply has been tripled.
Thus, among the commercial launches of high added value and based on the company’s R+D+i carried out during 2017, an intelligent foliar nutrition technology (trade name smart) stands out that ends with irrigation and common disadvantages of herbicides such as the yellowing and deterioration of crops, increasing production and improving plant health at the same time. Another great innovation put on the market was a micronutrient supply system, called Manni-Plex whose uniqueness is that it is recognized as its own by the crop, allowing its immediate absorption and natural transport throughout the plant. A third major innovation was a biostimulant based on extracts of two marine algae of different strains that optimize plant transplantation and launched as Plant Start
Along with the diversification of the portfolio, the former Tragusa has made another important leap in foreign sales, which before the purchase by Brandt represented approximately 10% of the turnover, and at the end of 2017 represented 20%, surpassing 4.3 million and accessing new markets such as South Africa, Turkey, Ivory Coast, Greece and Italy, which have joined others in which the company was already. The idea of Brandt is to cover from its European subsidiary the entire market not only of Europe, but also of the Middle East and Africa, taking advantage of the manufacturing and development capacity of the R&D of the production center and laboratory of Carmona and its privileged logistic situation.
In its first full year after the purchase of Tragusa, the US multinational also made a strong commitment to both quality employment and investments in equipment and machinery. Thus, in terms of employment, it increased the workforce in 2017 from 50 to 65 people, with the expectation that it will reach the end of the year at 70, and forming an external technical and commercial network of ten other professionals. The entire management team of the previous stage of Tragusa remains. For its part, in laboratory and production technology, it made an investment of close to one million euros, reinforcing the manufacturing capacity of more technologically advanced products. This investment was split between a laboratory team and manufacturing technology for process improvement and packaging.
BRANDT Europe’s strategic plan aims to achieve sales of 28 million in 2021, thus increasing its figures by more than 55%, and doubling exports and increasing the weight of fertilizers in the company’s total turnover from 12% to 22%. “Our project involves continuing to increase the international presence and changing the current product mix, betting on specialty fertilizers and products based on R&D with more margin”, explains the CEO of BRANDT Europe, Manuel González. With this, he added, they will be able to increase the margin another 5% in four years.