Caterpillar first quarter profits up 13 percent

Equipment sales in China, the Middle East and other emerging markets grew nearly seven times faster than markets in North America, helping Cat to achieve higher than estimated equipment sales profits for the first quarter nearing 13 percent.

Demand from mining companies in China and Russia helped Cat’s overall sales to increase 18 percent to $11.8 billion.

International sales accounted for 58 percent of total revenue and rose by 30 percent, compared with 4 percent growth in North America. North American sales were $4.9 billion. The Asia-Pacific region expanded by 37-percent to $1.85 billion. Construction projects and mining operations lifted sales “substantially” in China, and India posted “sizeable sales growth,” the company said.
Revenue from Europe, Africa and the Middle East rose 30 percent to $3.81 billion, on energy production in Kazakhstan and increased building in Russia. Latin America gained 24 percent to $1.23 billion on iron ore mining in Brazil and Chile.
North American sales are now forecast to be down 2 percent to up 2 percent, below the company’s previous projection for growth of as much as 5 percent this year.