July 31, 2014 / 3:05 PM / 3 years ago

UPDATE 1-CNH Industrial Q2 net inches higher on strong Powertrain unit

(Adds details, shares)

MILAN, July 31 (Reuters) - Tractor and trucks maker CNH Industrial said on Thursday its second-quarter net profit inched higher after lower sales of agricultural machinery were offset by higher deliveries from its propulsion and transmission systems unit.

The sister company of Italian carmaker Fiat Chrysler said April-June net profit rose to $358 million from $348 million in the previous year.

Total group revenues were up 1 percent at $8.9 billion, while sales of its industrial activities were pretty much flat at $8.6 billion.

CNH Industrial, created last year from the merger of Fiat Industrial and its U.S. unit CNH, confirmed its guidance for the full year.

Milan-listed shares of the group rose 4 percent after the results to 6.93 euros by 1427 GMT, outperforming a 1.6 percent fall in Milan’s blue-chip index.

The company, which competes with Caterpillar Inc and Deere & Co, said net debt stood at $3.7 billion at the end of June, down from $4 billion at the end of March.

In a new business plan unveiled in May, CNH Industrial said it expected to raise operating profit for its industrial activities by as much as 60 percent and become debt free over five years by expanding and renewing its product lineup and growing in Asia.

The company said it would invest $11.7 billion over the period in new product launches and research and development to grow net sales of its construction, agriculture and commercial machinery by 17 percent to $38.3 billion by 2018. (Reporting by Agnieszka Flak Editing by Jeremy Gaunt)

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