Caterpillar delivers record sales and profits up 83%

Aaron Morby 12 years ago

Construction machinery giant Caterpillar recorded its biggest yearly growth rate for sales and profit since 1947.

The big rebound in fortunes was driven by acquisitions, increased demand for mining equipment, high commodity prices and sales growth in construction machinery and parts during the year.

For 2011, the company’s revenue rose 41% from 2010 to $60.1bn, shattering the company previous record high level from 2008. Profit increased 83% to $4.93 billion, or $7.40 a share.

“We’re expecting 2012 to be another year of good growth,” Caterpillar Chief Executive Doug Oberhelman said.

“We expect 2012 to be a new sales record at a time when construction activity in the United States and Europe–two large markets for us–are still depressed.”

Results in brief

Caterpillar Inc.
Sales $60.1bn, up 40%; profit $4.9bn, up 83%

Construction machinery
Sales $19.7bn, up 45%; profit $2bn, up 163%
Resource industries
Sales $15.6bn, up 80%; profit $3.3bn, up 86%
Power systems
Sales $20.1bn, up 33%; profit $3bn, up 33%
Financial products
Sales $3bn, up 2%; profit $587m, up 27%

It said business investment in both the Eurozone and the United Kingdom had grown faster than the overall economies, a trend it planned to continue. These businesses improved cash flow and needed to upgrade capital stocks.

The company said it was more optimistic than it was three months ago that a global recession won’t occur in 2012 and expects the threat of a recession in Europe from the sovereign-debt crisis to ease by the middle of the year.

Cat said it anticipated the global economy will expand by 3.3% this year, modestly better than in 2011.

As a result the firm plans to invest about $4bn on capital expenditures this year, compared with $2.6bn last year.

To meet growing demand it boosted the workforce by 14,000 last year, more than half outside the United States.

The company said it exported nearly $20 billion worth of goods in 2011, representing a third of its total revenue for the year.

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