Jim Umpleby, CEO, Caterpillar

Jim Umpleby, CEO, Caterpillar

Caterpillar has revised its financial outlook upwards after recording higher year on year quarterly sales for the first time since 2014.

The latest figures, together with what Caterpillar describes as “outstanding operational performance” during the quarter, led the company to project an end of year total between $38 and $41 billion.

This is $2 million higher than its previous outlook figure.

“Our team delivered outstanding operational performance and, for the first time in more than two years, same quarter sales and revenues increased,” said CEO Jim Umpleby.

“We’re also benefiting from our significant cost reduction and restructuring actions, which have improved cash flow and further strengthened an already healthy balance sheet.

“With this momentum, we will continue to focus investment on improving our competitive position by investing in new technologies and improving our productivity to deliver profit growth and shareholder value.”

The company’s first quarter figures showed sales and revenues of US$9.82 billion – more than $350 million above the corresponding three months in 2016.

This included $4.1 billion of sales to the construction industries, or a 1% rise on last year’s corresponding quarter. However, the construction industries’ profit, at $635 million, well ahead of the $440 million recorded a year ago.

The biggest increase in construction sales was to Asia Pacific, which rose by 23% to just over $1.1 billion.

North America fell by 7%, though it remains the company’s biggest single market with sales of more than $1.9 billion in early 2017. Sales to Europe, Africa and Middle East also dropped, by 4%.

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