The equipment division of Toromont Industries, owner of Eastern Canada’s largest Caterpillar dealer, increased revenues 6 percent to $359.8 million in the first quarter compared to last year’s first quarter. Operating income jumped 10 percent to $35.1 million and was 9.7 percent as a percentage of revenues.

     Bookings for the equipment group increased 2 percent year over year to $188 million on strong mining and power systems orders, which helped offset lower construction orders. Backlogs were $176 million on March 31, 2017, compared to $147 million at the end of 2016, and $125 million at the end of last year’s first quarter. The company expects most of the backlog to be delivered this year.

    Toromont also operates Cimco, a refrigeration systems business. Combined the two groups totaled $412.3 million in the first quarter, a 6-percent hike.

    “Toromont delivered continued growth in the first quarter on strong execution across the business,” said Scott Medhurst, president and CEO of Toromont Industries. “The Equipment Group performed well on strength in mining, power systems and rentals despite broad challenges with tight pricing conditions. Product support continues to provide a strong  foundation for both groups.

     “The long-term outlook for infrastructure spending remains positive following the federal budget; however we await clarity on the timing and nature of the anticipated spending. We also remain cautiously optimistic on various provincial spending initiatives and expect to get better visibility in the coming months. We are beginning to see increased activity in the mining sector.”

     Toromont Caterpillar covers Ontario, Manitoba, Nunavut, Newfoundland and Eastern Labrador, and is the parent company to Battlefield Equipment Rentals.