Caterpillar has reported a rise in year-on-year quarterly sales for the first time since 2014, leading the company to project total sales of between $38bn and $48bn for the year.
This revised positive financial outlook is $2m higher than its previous outlook figure after what the company described as “outstanding operational performance” during the quarter. The company’s first quarter figures for this year showed sales and revenues of $9.82bn, which is $350m more than the corresponding figure for the first three months of 2016.
“Our team delivered outstanding operational performance and, for the first time in more than two years, same quarter sales and revenues increased,” said Jim Umpleby, CEO, Caterpillar.
“We’re also benefiting from our significant cost reduction and restructuring actions, which have improved cash flow and further strengthened an already healthy balance sheet. With this momentum, we will continue to focus investment on improving our competitive position by investing in new technologies and improving our productivity to deliver profit growth and shareholder value,” he added.
The results included $4.1 billion of sales to the construction sector, which is an increase of 1% on corresponding figures from the first quarter last year. Profits, however, rose sharply quarter-on-quarter, from $440m to $635m, Caterpillar said.
The Asia Pacific region saw the biggest increase in construction sales rising by 23% to a little more than $1.1bn. On the other hand, sales in North America dropped 7%, although the region remained Cat’s single biggest market with total sales of above $1.9bn. Sales also dropped in Europe, Africa and Middle East, falling by around 4%, the company said.