Deere Sales Strong Through July

Ag/turf sales up 23% so far this year, construction/forestry up 50%; heavy farm machinery booming in the U.S. and Canada while turf equipment holds steady.

Net income attributable to Deere & Company was $712.3 million for the third quarter ended July 31, compared with $617 million for the same period last year. For the first nine months of the year, net income attributable to Deere & Company was $2.130 billion compared with $1.408 billion last year.

"Bolstered by yet another quarter of record results, John Deere remains on track for a year of exceptional achievement," said Samuel R. Allen, chairman and chief executive officer. "Our success reflects strong demand for the company's advanced equipment and the skillful execution of our ambitious business plans. These are aimed at expanding our global competitive position and introducing the John Deere brand to a wider group of customers."

Increased sales of large farm machinery are having a major impact on Deere's performance, Allen said, while construction-equipment sales are moving higher in spite of weakness in the North American residential and commercial construction sectors. "The company is achieving record performance in spite of certain key markets being in the early stages of recovery. This reflects our focus on managing costs and assets, while enhancing our geographic footprint and providing a range of innovative products and services to a growing global customer base."

EQUIPMENT DIVISION PERFORMANCE

Agriculture & Turf. Sales increased 22% for the quarter and 23% for nine months largely due to higher shipment volumes, the favorable effects of currency translation and improved price realization.

Operating profit was $859 million for the quarter and $2.579 billion year to date, compared with $824 million and $2.128 billion, respectively, last year. The improvement in both periods primarily was due to the impact of higher shipment volumes and improved price realization, partially offset by increases in raw-material costs and selling, administrative and general expenses.

Construction & Forestry. Construction and forestry sales rose 34% for the quarter and were up 50% for nine months mainly due to higher shipment volumes and improved price realization. The division had operating profit of $110 million for the quarter and $304 million for nine months, compared with $66 million and $65 million last year. Operating profit for both periods moved up primarily due to higher shipment and production volumes and improved price realization, partially offset by increased raw-material costs and selling, administrative and general expenses.

MARKET CONDITIONS & OUTLOOK

Agriculture & Turf. Worldwide sales of the company's agriculture and turf division are forecast to increase by about 21% for full-year 2011, with a favorable currency-translation impact of about 4%. Farmers in the world's major markets are experiencing solid levels of income due to rising demand for agricultural commodities as well as high crop prices.

Industry farm-machinery sales in the U.S. and Canada are forecast to be up 5% to 10% for the year, following a healthy advance in 2010. Overall conditions remain positive and demand continues to be strong, especially for high-horsepower equipment.

Industry sales of turf and utility equipment in the U.S. and Canada are expected to be about the same as in 2010.

Construction & Forestry. Deere's worldwide sales of construction and forestry equipment are forecast to increase by about 45% for full-year 2011. The increase reflects market conditions that are somewhat improved in relation to last year's low level and increased activity outside of the U.S. and Canada. Construction equipment sales to independent rental companies are seeing significant growth. World forestry markets are experiencing a further rebound after last year's strong gains with particular improvement in Europe.

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