CNH construction sales plunge 48% in Q4

Construction equipment sales sagged 48% from $US1.3 billion in the December 2007 quarter to less than $US695 million in the December 2008 quarter, pulled down by shrinking global markets, CNH president and chief executive Harold Boyanovsky said in the company’s full-year net income report.CNH said the shocking fourth-quarter performance in construction equipment sales dragged the division down 11% from $5 billion for the full 2007 year to $4.4 billion in 2008.According to the company, a record gross margin performance in agricultural equipment buoyed CNH’s performance, propping it up against weakness in the construction equipment division.Agricultural equipment sales were boosted 30% from $9.9 billion in 2007 to nearly $13 billion in 2008.However, Boyanovsky said CNH was approaching the current year cautiously.“In light of continuing volatility in financial markets and consequent uncertainty in the equipment market, we are preparing for a turbulent 2009 and expect the first quarter to be particularly challenging,” he said.“Agricultural equipment’s gross profit improved $US723 million, while construction equipment’s gross profit declined by $US228 million,” CNH said.

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