Caterpillar Profits Up 29% on Strong Mining Demand

Revenues jump 25% after Bucyrus acquisition.

Strong demand in the global mining sector helped Caterpillar Inc. (IW 500/25) boost earnings by 29% in the first quarter, despite slower sales growth in China and Brazil, the company said Wednesday.

In its first full quarter since it bought mining equipment firm Bucyrus International for $7.6 billion last November, Caterpillar said total revenues were up 25% to $15.98 billion, driving net profit up to $1.59 billion from $1.23 billion a year earlier.

Earnings per share were also up 29% to $2.37.

"We're seeing strong global demand for most mining products and significant growth in replacement demand for products in the United States, which more than offset slowing in China and Brazil," chief executive Doug Oberhelman said in a statement.

Despite slower growth in China, sales overall in the dynamic Asia-Pacific region rose 3% in the quarter from a year earlier, to $3.9 billion.

North America sales grew 26 percent to $5.7 billion, while Latin America, showed relatively dull growth at just 6 percent. Sales in Europe, Africa and the Middle East grew 25%.

The company meanwhile boosted its outlook for the year, forecasting revenues to end up in the $68 to $72 billion range. At the middle of the range, profits per share would come in at about $9.50 for the whole year, up 25 cents from the previous forecast.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2012

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