Sales up but profits slip at Cat

19 March 2008

Caterpillar had sales revenues of US$ 11.4 billion in the second quarter of the year, up +7% on the same period last year. However, profits for the three months fell -21% to US$ 823 million, compared to Q2 2006. This drop was attributed to a fall in on-highway engine sales in North America and weakness in the region's equipment market.

Cat's machinery sales in North America were down -14% to US$ 3.25 billion in the second quarter, compared to 2006. However the company saw strong growth elsewhere, with the Europe Africa and Middle East (EAME) region enjoying a +35% rise in equipment sales, while both Latin America and the Asia Pacific regions were up +23%. Overall machinery sales were up +6% to US$ 7.28 billion.

Similarly, Cat's engine sales in North America were down –8% for the quarter, but this was more than offset by increases in other parts of the world. The EAME region was the strongest, followed by Asia Pacific and Latin America. Total engine sales for the quarter came to US$ 3.34 billion, a +8% rise on Q2 2006.

Caterpillar says it expects its full year sales to be around US$ 44 billion – a +6% rise on the 2006 total of US$ 41.5 billion. A company statement said, “Sales outside North America are expected to be up +24% on 2006, or about US$ 4.5 billion – more than offsetting a US$ 2.4 billion, or –12% decline in North America. This reflects solid 2007 economic and industry growth in most of the world outside North America.”

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