Earthmoving equipment giant expects recovery in US and Japan markets to gather pace in 2012

Caterpillar has posted record profits in the third quarter of this year and expects a jump of profits next year as the American economy recovers from the recession and demand in developing nations remains stable.

The global construction machinery firm, the largest manufacturer of earthmoving equipment in the world by revenues, reported profits of $1.14bn in the third quarter of 2011, up 44% from a profit of $792bn in the same period last year.

The firm expects its 2011 revenues to be at the top of its forecasted range at $58bn.

Chief executive Doug Oberhelman said: “Although there is a good deal of economic and political uncertainty in the world, we are not seeing it much in our business at this point. We believe continued economic recovery, albeit a slow recovery, is the most likely scenario as we move forward.

“Our leadership team is working on plans for next year, and it looks like 2012 will see improvements in sales and revenues across our businesses.”

The company bought mining equipment firm Bucyrus International earlier this year which will contribute $2bn to its annual profits in 2011.