16 February 2000
Farm recession hits John Deere

By FWi staff

JOHN Deere profits for the first quarter are down 24% as the recession in farming continues to hit machinery sales.

The US agricultural and construction machinery giant has announced net income of $37.7 million (23.6m) for the first quarter ending on 31 January.

This compares with a net income of $49.7m for the same period last year.

The company reported that depressed agricultural commodity prices continued to severely affect demand for agricultural equipment during the period.

It added that production schedules in agricultural and construction equipment were at planned low levels during the quarter.

“Under current circumstances, it is especially gratifying to show positive results, particularly during a quarter that has historically been the seasonally weakest period for the industry,” commented John Deere chairman and chief executive officer Hans W Becherer.

“This is evidence of our progress in growth and quality initiatives, shows our success in achieving increased diversification of our business lines, and leaves our business plans for the year on track.”

Worldwide net sales and revenues for the quarter have decreased 5% to $2.339bn (1.462bn) compared to $2.459bn last year.

Net equipment sales for the period were $1.880bn (1.175bn) for the quarter, compared with $1.973bn last year.