The company BRANDT Europe, the subsidiary of the American agricultural leader covering Europe, the Middle East and Africa, closed 2017 (its first full year of operation after purchasing the assets of the old Tragusa) with a turnover of 20.5 million euros, 14% more than in 2016.
This coming 1 July will be two years since the purchase of the old Tragusa by the American agri-food giant and BRANDT Europe hopes to reach 22 million euros this year, which would therefore increase the turnover by more than 22% since the input of the American capital.
The American agricultural giant’s European subsidiary grew in 2017 not only in turnover, but also in gross margin increasing by almost two points, thanks to the incorporation of products with higher added value, especially in the area of fertilizers, based on the powerful R&D&i of the parent company and factories in Spain. Specifically, with American technology, but with the development of its own R&D laboratory, BRANDT Europe is manufacturing 35 new products at its production plant in Carmona, mostly fertilizers, but also adjuvants and biostimulants. These have diversified the company’s commercial portfolio, which was previously composed of about 50 phytosanitary products and 30 others spread between fertilizers and other agricultural products.
The incorporation of these products represents an important qualitative leap in the commercial offer of the company, which previously worked mainly in the generics field. The company has now entered the speciality market with more exclusive products, with a greater technological and innovative content. It has very little competition in the Spanish market, offers its customers greater added value and its products now have a better sales margin. It also represents a commitment to strengthen the fertilizer business line, whose offer has been tripled.
From among the high added-value commercial products based on the company’s R&D&i in 2017, the most outstanding is an intelligent foliar nutrition technology (with the trade name Smart), which does away with the usual risks and drawbacks of herbicides such as crop yellowing and deterioration, increasing production and improving plant health at the same time. Another great innovation launched onto the market was a micronutrient delivery system called Manni-Plex, whose uniqueness is that the nutrients are recognised by the crop as being their own, allowing their immediate absorption and natural transport throughout the plant. A third major innovation was a biostimulant, launched as Plant Start, based on extracts from two different strains of marine algae, that optimises plant transplantation.
Along with the diversification of the portfolio, the old Tragusa has made another important leap in external sales, which before the purchase by Brandt represented approximately 10% of turnover, and by the end of 2017 represented 20%, surpassing 4.3 million euros. The company has now accessed new markets with South Africa, Turkey, Ivory Coast, Greece and Italy now joining others in which the company already has a presence. Brandt’s idea is to cover the entire market from its European subsidiary. Not only Europe, but also the Middle East and Africa, taking advantage of the manufacturing and R&D development capacity of its production and laboratory centre in Carmona and its privileged logistical location.
In its first full year after the purchase of Tragusa, the US multinational also made a strong commitment to both quality employment and investment in equipment and machinery. Thus, in terms of employment, the workforce increased in 2017 from 50 to 65 and is forecast to reach 70 by the end of the year, and an external technical and commercial network of another ten professionals was also formed. The entire management team from the old Tragusa remains. It also invested nearly one million euros in laboratory technology and production, strengthening its capacity to manufacture more technologically advanced products. This investment was spread between laboratory equipment and manufacturing technology to improve processes and packaging.
BRANDT Europe’s strategic plan aims to achieve sales of 28 million euros by 2021, thus increasing its figures by more than 55%, and doubling exports and increasing the weight of fertilizers in the company’s total business volume from 12% up to 22%. “Our project involves continuing to increase our international presence and changing the current mix of products, opting for speciality fertilizers and R&D-based products with more margin”, explains the CEO of BRANDT Europe, Manuel González. This, he added, will allow us to increase the margin by another 5% in four years.
BRANDT Europe operated during 2017 with the transitory brand Brandt-Tragusa, but since the beginning of 2018 it has been presented on the market as the unique brand Brandt.
BRANDT is known as one of the fastest growing family businesses in the United States. With a portfolio of over 250 products, BRANDT is chosen for tree, industrial, horticultural, turf and even ornamental plant cultivation. Its products are sold in 48 states of the United States and 45 countries, and it has more than 135 hectares of farms dedicated specifically to research and development.