Deere and Company is reporting much higher-than-expected earnings for the fourth quarter and for its fiscal year, which ended October 31st. Greg Derrick is spokesman for the Quad Cities-based Deere, which is Iowa’s largest manufacturing employer.Fourth quarter earnings were 68-(M) million dollars, compared to a loss last year of 320-million dollars. For the year, Deere reports earnings of 319-million dollars, compared to a net loss of 64-million in fiscal year 2001. In addition to improved efficiency and cost reductions, Derrick attributes much of the gain to higher sales of farm equipment in Europe. He says the European market is as large as the North American market.Derrick says the company’s economic forecasters predict 2003 will be a better earnings year than had been expected too, with sales projected to jump by one-billion dollars. He says they expect farm machinery sales to jump. Deere makes a variety of equipment for agricultural use, lawn and garden and the construction industry.
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