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Caterpillar Plans to Cut Costs, Predicts Increased Sales

PEORIA, Ill. - Caterpillar said it expects to cut $1 billion in costs over the next few years and increase sales 50 percent to $30 billion by 2006.

The equipment giant said it will cut costs by reducing material expenses, lead times and inventory as well as through attrition of the company's older work force.

Chairman and CEO Glen Barton told analysts that Caterpillar is seeking to become a $30 billion company by 2006. It had revenue of $19.7 billion in 1999. Barton predicted that power generation equipment will spearhead the growth, with sales more than tripling to $6 billion by the middle of the decade. Sales of compact construction equipment are expected to reach about $1 billion from $300 million a year ago, he said.

In other Caterpillar news, the company's subsidiary in Northern Ireland, FG Wilson, announced it will add as many as 500 jobs to its work force of about 2,500. The company will invest $39 million in its three factories to expand exports of electric generators and components during the next three years.

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