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Caterpillar sales soar 59 per cent

New York, March 20, 2011

Caterpillar, world's leading maker of heavy equipment, said its machinery sales through dealers surged 59 per cent in the three-month period through February, led by stronger demand in Latin America.

The heavy equipment manufacturer said it expected sporadic disruptions to its supply chain as a result of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. Production has been affected at two of its facilities in Japan, it said.

Caterpillar's dealer-reported retail sales were up 59 per cent from a year earlier in the three months ended in February, an acceleration from the 49pc pace reported for the three months ended in January. It was the 10th straight month of improving sales.

Demand for heavy machinery used in energy production, mining and construction has bounced back thanks to rising commodity prices and higher standards of living in developing economies.

Caterpillar's sales surge was led by a 76 per cent jump in Latin America, well above the sales growth in that region in the three months through January.

A 55 per cent increase in North America was down slightly from the prior period's pace.

The sales rose 57 per cent in Asia-Pacific and were up 53 per cent in Europe, Africa and the Middle East, both regions marking a faster pace than in the prior period, reflecting continued strength among emerging markets.

Separately, farm and construction machinery maker Deere & Company said it expected delays to the delivery of some equipment because of the disaster in Japan.

Caterpillar said its three Japan facilities were not damaged by last week's earthquake and are outside evacuation zone. The crisis has had some impact on production at facilities in Akashi and Sagami, but other plants around the world have not been affected, it said.

Deere said it expected delays on the delivery of some excavators sold under both the Deere and Hitachi brand names as well as Hitachi-branded mining equipment.

In a regulatory filing, Deere said it was assessing the impact of the earthquake and tsunami on its Japanese supply base, and conditions in Japan made it difficult to estimate the full effects on the supply chain.




Tags: Caterpillar | Heavy equipment |

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