9 March 2001

50% improvement in income for Deere

FIRST quarter financial results from Deere & Co reveal the companys net income rose by 50% to $56.4m, compared with $37.7m for the same period last year.

Robert Lane, chairman and chief executive, says: "The improved financial performance is a reflection of favourable customer response to our many new and innovative products. This is especially gratifying in light of the economic weakness affecting our major markets."

Worldwide net sales and revenues for the quarter, which ended Jan 31, increased by 15% to $2.68bn, compared with the $2.11bn last year.

More specifically, sales of worldwide agricultural equipment increased by 19% for the quarter and operating profit rose to $89m compared with last years $14m.

This improvement was, says Deere, mainly due to manufacturing efficiencies resulting from higher production volumes, partly offset by higher costs for sales incentives, new product development and growth initiatives. Higher sales in Latin America led to improved results in overseas operations. &#42