Iowa’s largest manufacturing employer is reporting a big increase in profits while projecting “substantial growth” in 2012. Deere and Company reported 2011 fiscal year profits of $2.8 billion, a record for the company headquartered in the Quad Cities.

In the fourth quarter alone, profits rose 46% over the same period last year to $670 million. Deere officials expect net income to hit $3.2 billion in 2012, spurred by a 15% increase in equipment sales worldwide.

The report shows sales of John Deere agriculture and turf equipment rose 21% over the last year. Deere employs around 12,000 Iowans at facilities in Ankeny, Johnston, Ottumwa, Waterloo, Davenport and Dubuque.