One of Iowa’s largest employers is reporting its second-best-ever fourth quarter, despite deep cuts in production. Ken Golden, a spokesman for Quad Cities-based Deere and Company, says they knew it would be tough to beat last year, which broke all corporate records — but it was still a spectacular close to this year.
The company had a net income of 233-million for the 4th quarter and for the full year, one-point-four billion, which he attributes to the hard work of Deere workers across Iowa and elsewhere. Golden says the company’s agricultural equipment division saw losses for the final quarter and may be down next year too.
He says sales in the ag division were off ten-percent for the quarter but did increase for the year. For next year, there’s a projection of being “slightly down” for the ag division. Golden says the ag equipment industry as a whole is expected to have a difficult year in 2006 though he says Deere is expected to “outperform the industry.”
Golden says he does not anticipate any drastic changes in employment at the ag equipment manufacturing facilities in Iowa. He says employment changes aren’t generally made based on the outlook for a year or a quarter. Production can be slowed down several ways, like by simply building fewer units or by offering employees more time off, adding, “nothing significant at this point.”