Caterpillar to start producing excavators in Russia

LAS VEGAS, March 11 (Reuters) - Caterpillar Inc CAT.N, the world's largest maker of construction and mining equipment, said on Tuesday it plans to start making hydraulic excavators in Russia -- becoming one of the first Western companies in the industry to move production of its earth-moving machines into that country.

Speaking at an event for investors held on the sidelines of a triennial industry trade show here, the Peoria, Illinois-based company said it would produce its steam shovel-like excavators at a components factory it already operates in Tosno.

The plant, near St. Petersburg, currently makes parts that are exported to Caterpillar plants in Western Europe.

The announcement came as Caterpillar raised its forecast for 2010 revenue, citing continued strength in spending on infrastructure projects outside the United States as well as investment in mining and oil and gas industries worldwide.

But the company did not raise its forecast for 2010 earnings per share, saying it still expected to earn between $8 and $10 a share. It said the increased revenue would require additional investment, especially in fast-growing emerging markets like China, India, the CSI and Russia. (Reporting by James B. Kelleher; Editing by Tomasz Janowski)