Cummins engines has reported net income up 33% in the first quarter, but also said that pick-up engine sales in North Amerca were sluggish. 

Cummins said that a particularly strong performance in international markets – which accounted for 57 percent of the Company’s sales in the quarter – helped offset rising commodity prices and sluggishness in some US consumer-related markets such as pick-up truck engines, recreational vehicle products and recreational marine engines.

Sales of USD3.47 billion were 23 percent higher than USD2.82 billion in the first quarter 2007, due to a 25 percent increase in both the Engine and Components segments, a 44 percent increase in the Distribution business and a 17 percent rise in Power Generation sales.

Net income rose 33 percent to USD190 million, or 97 cents per share, compared to USD143 million, or 71 cents per share, during the same period in 2007. EBIT of USD315m, or 9.1 percent of sales, was 30 percent higher than USD243m (8.6 percent of sales) a year ago.

Sales growth was led by the engine business, the company’s largest business segment. Heavy-duty and medium-duty truck engine shipments increased 36 percent and 68 percent, respectively, primarily due to increased market share in North America.

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Through February, the latest month for which statistics are available, Cummins owned a market-leading share of 43 percent of the North American Class 8 truck engine market – compared to 28 percent at the same time last year. Cummins’ share of the Class 7 medium-duty truck market was 55 percent through February, compared to 23 percent at the same time in 2007.

“Our strong performance in the first quarter, which came in the face of considerable economic uncertainty in the U.S., is further proof that our diversification and growth strategies are working,” said Cummins Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Tim Solso.

“While we are monitoring the U.S. economy closely, we intend to continue investing in opportunities around the world to fuel further growth in the future.”