Komatsu Profit Rises on Construction Equipment Sales


Komatsu Ltd., the world’s second-biggest maker of construction equipment, said third-quarter profit rose 5.5 percent, aided by sales in North America and a weaker yen.
Net income rose to 38.5 billion yen ($326 million) in the three months ended Dec. 31 from 36.5 billion yen a year earlier, the Tokyo-based company said today in a statement. Sales rose 6.4 percent to 494.1 billion yen.
North and South America, which account for almost a third of revenue at the Japanese equipment maker, are proving resilient markets for Komatsu. That’s helping to offset weakness in China.
Sales of construction and mining equipment in North America for the first nine months of the company’s fiscal year rose 12.7 percent to 227.2 billion yen.
The company reiterated its forecast that annual profit will fall 1.6 percent to 157 billion yen, while operating income will increase 6 percent to 255 billion yen.
Komatsu Chief Executive Officer Tetsuji Ohashi said last month that a slump in China sales will likely continue. Equipment sales in China dropped 23 percent in the past nine months. Sales in Asia outside Japan and China advanced 15 percent to 155.6 billion yen.
The Japanese equipment maker’s results compare with those at Caterpillar Inc., the world’s largest mining construction equipment maker. The Peoria, Illinois-based company on Tuesday forecast 2015 sales and earnings that trailed analysts’ estimates. Caterpillar’s shares fell 7.2 percent in New York, the most in more than three years.
The yen has weakened about 7 percent against the U.S. dollar since Sept. 30, making Japan-made machinery more competitive in overseas markets.
“The Japanese yen depreciated against the U.S. dollar, euro and renminbi more than the corresponding period a year ago, which compensated for slack demand for mining equipment and a decline in demand in emerging countries, such as China,” Komatsu said in the statement.

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