Komatsu Cuts Forecast as Profit Falls 28% on Asian Sales

Komatsu Ltd., the world’s second-biggest maker of excavators and dump trucks, reported a 28 percent decline in third-quarter profit and cut its full-year earnings forecast as sales in Southeast Asia and China slumped.

Net income fell to 25 billion yen ($275 million) in the three months ended Dec. 31 from 34.7 billion yen a year ago, the Tokyo-based company said today in a statement. Tetsuji Ohashi will succeed Kunio Noji as chief executive officer, it said.

A supply glut in China cut excavator sales in the world’s biggest construction-equipment market, while coal mining activity declined in Indonesia, hurting earnings. Caterpillar Inc., Komatsu’s bigger rival, yesterday reported a 55 percent drop in net income for the quarter ended Dec. 31.

Komatsu cut its full-year net income forecast by 12 percent to 138 billion yen. Sales are forecast to reach 1.92 trillion yen, down from its October estimate of 1.97 trillion yen.

Caterpillar said gains in its sales and profit this year will come in the second half as the world economy improves. The company forecast 2013 earnings of $7 to $9 a share on revenue of $60 billion to $68 billion. Sales declined 9.3 percent to 419.7 billion yen.

Komatsu rose 1.3 percent to close at 2,385 yen on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. The stock has gained 9.2 percent this year, compared with a 4.5 percent advance in the benchmark Nikkei 225 Stock Average.

Komatsu said Senior Executive Officer Ohashi will replace Noji, who will take the post of chairman, according to a separate statement released today. The appointment will take effect on April 1. Masahiro Sakane, the current chairman, will become a director and councilor, the company said.