North America strong for Caterpillar
By Murray Pollok28 April 2022
Caterpillar has reported a 14% increase in first quarter sales to US$13.6 billion, driven by healthy growth in its resource, construction and energy/transport divisions.
Operating profits of $1.85 billion were up 2% year-on-year, with higher prices and volumes almost offset by higher material and freight costs.
Cat’s Chairman and CEO Jim Umpleby said he was proud of the double-digit growth performance, which had been achieved “despite ongoing supply chain challenges.”
There was little mention of the impact of the war in Ukraine – which began two months into the quarter - other than a higher reserve for credit losses in Ukraine and Russia at Cat Financial Products. The reserve has increase by $20 million to $347 million compared to the end of the first quarter in 2021.
Sales at the construction division were up 12% year on year, led by a 28% rise in North America, +60% in Latin America and +18% in EAME. Lower demand in China led to a 21% reduction in revenues for Asia Pacific, although there was growth in most other Asian markets.
The resources segment saw a 30% increase compared to the first quarter or 2021, with sales up significantly in every region except Latin America. Resource revenues in North America grew by 55% in the period.
Umpleby said; “We remain focused on supporting our customers and executing our strategy for long-term profitable growth. Our strong balance sheet allowed us to repurchase shares and pay dividends totalling $1.4 billion in the quarter.”