Deere Sales Rise 11% on Construction Division's 22% Leap

Net sales of Deere & Co.'s worldwide equipment operations rose 11 percent in the first quarter of 2012. Equipment net sales in the United States and Canada increased 5 percent for the quarter. Outside the U.S. and Canada, net sales were up 21 percent, including a loss of 2 percent on unfavorable currency translation.

Deere's equipment operations reported operating profit of $698 million for the quarter, compared with $646 million last year. Results benefited from price increases of 4 percent and higher shipment volumes, partially offset by increased production costs related to a record number of new products introduced in 2011, more stringent engine-emission requirements, higher raw-material costs, and an unfavorable currency-translation effect of 1 percent.

Agriculture & Turf Equipment Division sales increased 8 percent for the quarter to $4.724 billion. Operating profit was $574 million (about 12.2% of division net sales) compared with $558 million for the quarter last year.

Construction & Forestry Equipment Division sales climbed 22 percent to $1.395 billion. Operating profit for the quarter was $124 million (about 8.9% of division net sales) compared with $88 million a year ago.

Worldwide sales of ag and turf equipment are forecast to increase by about 15 percent during 2012, while Deere's worldwide sales of construction and forestry equipment are forecast to rise by about 18 percent.

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