Caterpillar sees +5% revenue increase

By Chris Sleight22 October 2012

Caterpillar chairman & CEO Doug Oberhelman

Caterpillar chairman & CEO Doug Oberhelman

Caterpillar achieved revenues of US$ 16.4 billion in the third quarter of the year, a +5% increase on the same period last year. Net profits were up +49% to US$ 1.7 billion, which included a one-off gain of US$ 273 million from the sale of Caterpillar’s majority stake in a third-party logistics business.

Chairman and CEO Doug Oberhelman said that despite the “Economic and geopolitical headwinds facing the world,” the company had its best third quarter on record. “Our entire organisation is focussed on finishing 2012 as the best year for sales and profit in our history. Despite the turbulence in the global economy, we continue to track toward our goals on cost control, margin improvement, product quality, safety and better product availability for our customers.”

Having achieved revenues of US$ 49.8 billion for the nine months of the year to date, a +16% improvement on 2011, Caterpillar expects full-year revenues of US$ 66 billion. This is down from its previous estimate of US$ 68 billion to US$ 70 billion. Its profit expectations have also been lowered to US$ 9.00 to US$ 9.25 per share, compared to the previous outlook of US$ 9.60 per share.

In terms of individual regions, Caterpillar saw the strongest growth over the last quarter in North America, where sales were up +8% compared to a year ago, to US$ 6.05 billion. The company also enjoyed +8% growth in the Asia-Pacific region, where its revenues hit US$ 4.27 billion. In Latin America and the Europe, Africa and Middle East (EAME) region, its sales were down -1% to US$ 2.78 billion and US$ 3.85 billion respectively.

Changes in sales to ‘Construction Industries’ were striking across the regions. Overall, Caterpillar’s sales of these products were flat with last year at US$ 4.9 billion. However, this comprised a +23% rise in North American sales, and a +7% rise in EAME revenues. On the down side, revenues fell -23% in Latin America and -18% in Asia Pacific.

Mr Oberhelman said, “As we’ve moved through the year we’ve seen continued economic weakening and uncertainty. It’s definitely impacting our business with dealers intending to lower inventories and mining customers delaying some projects and reducing orders."

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