Spooked by monkeys, Bosch looks to oysters and cattle for profit

The Bosch logo is reflected in a semiconductor wafer while in the company manufacturing base in Reutlingen, Germany, June 16, 2017. REUTERS/Michaela Rehle

LUDWIGSBURG, Germany (Reuters) – Germany’s Robert Bosch, the world’s biggest automotive supplier, is betting on farming technology to boost profit this year as disclosures about experiments by carmakers on monkeys jeopardize diesel-related jobs.

The Stuttgart-based company said it introduced new smart farming solutions last year, including sensor-based technologies that can help farmers cultivate asparagus and strawberries, manage cattle or even to farm oysters.

“Digital agriculture sector is supposed to grow much more than 70 % by 2020,” Bosch said .

Bosch builds sensors to help farmers measure growth and calibrate fertilizer and pesticide use. It\’s got products to permit ranchers to monitor gaining weight in cattle who have significant potential in Brazil as well as the United States, it added.

In 2017, Bosch posted a 6.7 percent boost in annual revenues to 78 billion euros ($97 billion).

Industrial Technology made up 6.7 billion euros of your total, while automotive-related business generated 47.4 billion, along with the rest received from consumer goods along with and building technology.

Adjusted earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) rose 23 percent to.3 billion euros, helping to improve the EBIT margin to.8 percent from 5.8 percent the year before, Bosch said.

Bosch expects to advance increase sales and earnings at the moment, even amid increased geopolitical risks including Brexit negotiations and “unpredictable” U.S. foreign policy.

However, Bosch warned that demand for diesel cars had fallen in Europe, a trend apt to be exacerbated by revelations that your research group conducted experiments that exposed monkeys and humans to toxic diesel fumes.

Revenue while in the automotive business saw a 7.8 percent rise as a result of sales of driver assistance and infotainment systems and diesel injection systems for commercial vehicles, Bosch said.

Bosch stated it expects automotive revenues to outpace weaker development in global automotive production, owing to sales of auto electrification components, together with a 48-volt battery for hybrid vehicles along with an electric axle.

But CEO Denner struck a skeptical tone regarding the prospects for Bosch producing their own electric car battery cells, saying the provider really should spend 20 billion euros to go into the industry.

“Many unknowns as well as technological especially market developments can only be predicted with difficulty or high amount of uncertainty,” Denner said, adding that established players are strong.

“Since materials costs, including recycleables, are responsible for seventy-five per cent on the value created, there only remains a narrow scope for creating and exploiting competitive advantages,” Denner said.

Whether Bosch enters the car battery cell manufacturing company is section of a broader effort by way of the company to repeatedly review its portfolio of assets, it said.

($1 = 0.8074 euros)

(Reporting by Edward Taylor; Editing by Keith Weir)

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