We operate in sales markets that are characterised by particular sensitivity to cyclical influences. Currently, they are also showing increasing protectionist tendencies. This can have a negative impact on the financial position and financial performance of the DEUTZ Group. As well as having a direct effect on unit sales and revenue, this may also impact negatively on the value of the assets on our balance sheet. We operate in very cyclical markets in our main application segments, Construction Equipment and Material Handling, and in our principal sales regions of Germany, western Europe and North America. Our objective is to continue to reduce this cyclicality from a regional and application segment perspective. One of the ways in which we are doing so is by continuing to focus further efforts on expanding our Agricultural Machinery application segment, as it follows a different economic cycle to the other application segments.
In the medium and long term, we seek to mitigate regional and application-related sales risks by aligning our development activities with our product strategy and by entering into alliances. Close alliances with our key customers are of considerable importance in enabling us to achieve these sales targets, although there is a risk of becoming dependent on them in the long term. We therefore pursue a strategy of signing up new customers and progressively expanding our business with them. These business development activities are particularly focused on Asia.
We are very well diversified and well positioned for the future in terms of the geographical and sectoral distribution of our customers. We supply the market-leading manufacturers in the various application segments. Despite the countermeasures that are in place, we cannot completely control the external risks. In view of the measures in place, we continue to categorise the market risk as ‘moderate’ in respect of the achievement of our corporate targets for 2017 because the economic situation in our sales markets remains volatile.
By contrast, the United Kingdom's upcoming departure from the European Union does not constitute a material external risk because our volume of business in the country is comparatively low.