Strong start to 2021 for Caterpillar

By Leila Steed29 April 2021

Caterpillar bulldozer D7 A Caterpillar D7 bulldozer - the company’s construction industries segment has enjoyed strong sales in the first quarter of 2021

Caterpillar has reported US$11.9 billion in total sales and revenues for the first quarter of 2021.

A 12% rise on the US$10.6 billion the company earned for the same period last year, Cat said the increase was primarily due to changes in its dealer inventories and to higher demand from end-users.

The manufacturer’s Construction Industries segment reported a first quarter sales and revenue figure of US$5.5 billion – up US$1.1 billion on last year – and profits of $1.03 billion.

Likewise, Cat’s Resources segment (which includes mining) also saw an increase in sales and revenue. In the first three months of the year the division brought in $2.2 billion, compared with $2.08 billion in 2020.

Jim Umpleby, Caterpillar’s Chairman and CEO, said, “We’re encouraged by improving conditions in our end markets and are proactively managing supply chain risks. Our dedicated team continues to execute our strategy for long-term profitable growth.”

Globally, the company’s Construction Industry segment saw significant increases in sales across nearly all regions for the three-month period. While figures for the Europe, Africa and the Middle East (EAME), Latin America and the Asia/pacific region were up by 22%, 48% and 72% respectively on the same quarter last year, sales in North America fared less well – bringing in just 2% more than in 2020.

Cat said that this was partially due to “favourable currency impacts” in the Latin America, EAME and Asia/Pacific regions. This meant dealers had larger inventories in the first part 2021, than they did in 2020.

Sales in the North America region were also disappointing for Cat’s Resources segment, with sales down 6% in the first quarter of 2021. Despite also reporting a 1% drop for its Asia/Pacific region there were increases for Latin America of 27% and 20% in EAME.

Overall, the segment performed 6% better in the first quarter of 2021, with profits coming in at US$328 million – 8% more than the US$304 million it made for the period in 2020.

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