US machinery giant John Deere & Co said its fiscal first quarter earnings rose as sales of agricultural and construction machinery remained strong. 

The net income for the three-month period that ended in January amount to US$681m, a 4.8 per cent year-over-year increase that was mainly fuelled by equipment sales.

In addition revenue rose three per cent to US$7.7bn as sales growth in Canada and the US outpaced other markets. Machinery sales totalled US$6.9bn, up two per cent.

Founded in 1837 by blacksmith John Deere, the company makes a wide range of machinery including excavators, mowers, tractors, aerators, loaders and utility vehicles.

“With another record quarter, John Deere has started 2014 on a strong note,” said Deere CEO Samuel Allen, in a statement.

It projects total sales will drop three per cent for fiscal 2014 as the anticipated fall in US farm incomes this year will dampen demand for large agricultural equipment, such as tractors and combines. It forecasts that industry sales for agricultural machinery in the US and Canada will decline five per cent to 10 per cent for the year.

But the outlook for its construction and forestry business is brighter, it said as the rebounding economy in the US and Canada will encourage more housing starts.

“Even in the face of moderating demand for agricultural equipment, Deere is well-positioned to deliver solid performance,” Allen added.