Caterpillar sales for the first quarter were $11.9 billion, up from $10.6 billion reported in the same period of 2020, or 12 percent. Caterpillar attributed the gain to dealers boosting inventories. Dealers increased inventories by $700 million during the first quarter of 2021 compared to $100 million during the first quarter of 2020.
Operating profit for the quarter was $1.8 billion, up $410 million, 29 percent above Q1 2020. The increase was primarily due to higher sales volume and higher profit from Financial Products.
Chairman/CEO Jim Umpleby said in a prepared statement:
“We’re encouraged by improving conditions in our end markets and are proactively managing supply chain risks. Our dedicated team continues to execute our strategy for long-term profitable growth.”
Construction Industries’ total sales were $5.5 billion in the first quarter of 2021, an increase of $1.2 billion, or 27 percent, compared with $4.3 billion in Q1 of 2020. In North America, sales increased slightly due to higher end-user demand partially offset by the impact from changes in dealer inventories and unfavorable price realization, the company said. The higher end-user demand was driven primarily by residential construction.
Construction Industries’ profit was $1.0 billion in the first quarter of 2021, an increase of $395 million, or 62 percent, compared with $640 million in Q1 of 2020. The increase was mainly due to higher sales volume.
Caterpillar produced a video discussing the results, below.