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Caterpillar boosted by emerging markets

Plant giant Caterpillar has said emerging markets and industries like energy and mining helped push figures up to record levels.

The US firm second quarter figures showed sales and revenues were up one fifth to $13.624 billion (£6.82 billion) on the same period last year. Profit per share for the three months between April and June were up 40 per cent to $1.74 (£0.87)

The news has meant Caterpillar has raised its full-year outlook for sales and revenues to around $50 billion – up from previous estimates of $47.2 billion (£23.6 billion) to $49.5 billion (£24.8 billion). Profit per share has been hiked from $5.64 (£2.82) to $6.18 (£3.09).

Cat said its traditionally key markets in North America, western Europe and Japan had suffered because of global economic conditions.

But chief executive Jim Owens said key markets such as the Middle East, Africa and a string of countries in South America including Brazil and Chile were helping offset the problems.

The firm added that growth in the former Soviet Union countries such as Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan was the biggest contributor to sales volume. It said a building boom plus increased mining and oil production in these areas meant more of its machines were in demand.

The firm is also pushing ahead with expansion plans in China and India with Cat recently announcing plans to increase capacity at its plants in both countries.

Mr Owens added: “Never in my 35 years with the company have I seen Caterpillar do so well in the face of such a difficult economic climate in the US. Supply is very tight and we are producing as much as we can.”