Sales of Kobelco construction equipment were up +14.7% for the first nine months of the fiscal year to March 31, to JPY 276 billion (US$ 2.72 billion). Ordinary income for its Cranes division and Construction Machinery business, which makes excavators, stood at JPY 14.5 billion (US$ 143 million), more than double the JPY 6.2 billion (US$ 61 million) of a year ago.

Kobelco Cranes saw the steepest sales growth over the nine month period, with revenues up +22% to JPY 39.8 billion (US$ 393 million), compared to JPY 32.7 billion (US$ 323 million) for the first nine months of fiscal 2012. Ordinary income for the first nine months of the year stood at JPY 2.5 billion (US$ 25 million), compared to the loss of JPY 1.2 billion (US$ 12 million) of a year ago.

The company said this rise in sales was due to buoyancy in its domestic market and elsewhere in Asia, which offset weakness in Europe.

“Unit sales increased in Japan on the back of monetary, fiscal and other government economic measures and reconstruction demand from the Great East Japan Earthquake. In overseas markets, unit sales decreased in Europe but increased in Southeast Asia,” it said in a statement.”

Sales by the excavator manufacturing Kobelco Construction Machinery business meanwhile were up +13.6% in the first nine months of the year to JPY 239 billion (US$ 2.33 billion), compared to JPY 208 billion (US$ 2.05 billion) for Q1-3 of fiscal 2012. Ordinary profit for the division was up +62% to JPY 12 billion (US$ 118 million) over the period, compared to JPY 7.4 billion (US$ 73 million) in 2012.

As in the cranes sector, Kobelco said the Japanese market was a driver of increased sales, although it said other parts of Asia were not so good.

“Although demand remained sluggish in China and Southeast Asia, the Japanese market was strong due to reconstruction demand and higher demand prior to the implementation of stricter exhaust gas emission regulations. In addition, sales steadily expanded in North America,” it said.

The company added that it expected full-year sales of excavators and cranes to come to JPY 376 billion (US$ 3.71 billion), which would be a +19% increase on the full fiscal year 2012 result of JPY 313 billion (US$ 3.09 billion).

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