Caterpillar’s sales return to pre-covid levels

By Leila Steed29 October 2021

Jim Umpleby, Chairman and CEO at Cat Jim Umpleby, Chairman and CEO, Caterpillar

Caterpillar has announced third quarter 2021 sales and revenues of US$12.4 billion, a 25% increase on the US$9.9 billion it made during the third quarter of 2020.

The company, which recently appointed its first chief sustainability and strategy officer, said its sales were driven by a higher demand for equipment and services from end-users, as well as “favorable price realisation.”

While the third quarter of 2020 saw the manufacturer’s sales and revenues of US$9.9 billion drop by 23% on the US$12.8 billion it brought in during the third quarter of 2019, this year’s 25% increase suggests the company has rebounded after the losses it - and the wider construction industry - suffered during the height of the pandemic. 

Cat’s Construction Industries business segment achieved total sales of US$5.25 billion for the third quarter of 2021, which is an increase of US$1.19 billion, around 30%, more than the US$4.05 billion it made for the same period in 2021.

Jim Umpleby, Chairman and CEO at Caterpillar, said, “Our global team continues to execute our long-term strategy for profitable growth while working to mitigate supply chain challenges as we serve our customers. Our third-quarter results reflect higher sales and revenues across our three primary segments.”

However, the increase was not reflected across all the regions the business segment operates in.

While the Construction Industries segment saw sales gains in North America, Latin America and the EMEA region during the three months up to the end of September 2021, the segment reported a 13% drop in sales and revenues for the Asia/Pacific region.

In quarter three of 2020 the segment brought in US$1.24 billion, but this year saw that fall to US$1.07 billion. According to Cat, “lower sales in China, driven by lower end-user demand and impacts of changes in dealer inventory, were partially offset by increased sales across the rest of the region.”

Construction Industries’ profit was US$859 million in the third quarter of 2021, an increase of US$274 million, or 47%, compared with US$585 million for the same time period in 2020.

The OEM referenced rising materials and manufacturing costs but, despite this, described its balance sheet as strong.

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