CNH REPORTS SECOND QUARTER NET INCOME OF $114 MILLION

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  • Construction Equipment Profit Improvement Continues
  • CNH Capital Continues Strong Performance
  • Agricultural Equipment Market in Latin America Deteriorates
  • Materials Costs and Supply Issues Constrain Results
Lake Forest, Illinois (July 27, 2005) CNH Global N.V. (NYSE:CNH) today reported second quarter 2005 net income of $114 million, compared to second quarter 2004 net income of $83 million.  Results include restructuring charges, net of tax, of $4 million in the second quarter of 2005, and $24 million in last year's second quarter.  Second quarter diluted earnings per share were up 36% to $.49, compared to $.36 in the second quarter of 2004.
 

"Net income was slightly better than expected, despite a greater than anticipated deterioration of the agricultural sector in Latin America," said Harold Boyanovsky, CNH President and Chief Executive Officer.  "Higher materials costs and shortages of some key supplies constrained results.  We expect these trends to impact performance in the second half as well.

"Nevertheless, the robust growth of the global construction equipment industry contributed to the continuing improvement in CNH results in this sector, and CNH Capital continued its strong performance."

Highlights from the quarter included the following:

  • In all regions, pricing actions enabled the company to recover increased materials costs in the quarter.  This was particularly favorable news for both the agricultural equipment and construction equipment businesses in Europe, which had not been able to offset materials cost increases earlier.  However, materials costs are not moderating as much as the company had anticipated.
  • After delaying their launch to ensure quality and reliability, CNH began shipping its new generation of skid steer loaders and track loaders.  The company anticipates improved volumes in the third and fourth quarters of 2005. 
  • In the quarter, Equipment Operations net debt declined by $726 million.
  • CNH's Case construction equipment business was awarded a five-year contract by the U.S. government.  Case will supply more than 500 backhoe loaders, coupled with parts and service, in a contract valued at $51 million, with the first delivery in 2006.
  • CNH Capital leveraged improved portfolio performance and strong investor demand for its $750 million wholesale receivables asset backed securitization ("ABS") transaction, confirming CNH Capital's funding capacity.

EQUIPMENT OPERATIONS - Second Quarter Financial Results 

Net sales of equipment, comprising the company's agricultural and construction equipment businesses, were $3.4 billion for the second quarter, compared to $3.3 billion for the same period in 2004, with most of the increase due to currency variations.

CNH Agricultural Equipment Net Sales

  • Agricultural equipment net sales were $2.3 billion for the second quarter, essentially unchanged from the prior year, but down 3% excluding currency variations.
  • Sales in Latin America declined by approximately 60%, excluding currency variations, continuing last quarter's sharp market contraction, in particular for combines.  Sales in Europe were down 10%, excluding currency, in line with combine industry declines and the company's de-stocking actions.  Sales in Rest of World markets were up 12% and up 4% in North America in a flat industry environment.
  • Second quarter 2005 production of agricultural tractors and combines was approximately 2% lower than retail unit sales.

CNH Construction Equipment Net Sales

  • Net sales of construction equipment were $1.1 billion for the second quarter, an increase of 13%, compared to $1.0 billion in the second quarter 2004, and up 10% excluding currency variations.
  • Three of four regions contributed to sales growth in the quarter: North America was up 15% exclusive of currency variations and Latin America was over 50%, but on a smaller base.  Sales in Europe decreased 2%, as the company continued to adjust its sales and marketing activities as a result of its previously announced brand rationalization.  Sales in Rest of World markets were up 1%. 
  • Production of CNH's major construction equipment products was higher than retail unit sales by approximately 10%.

Gross Margin
Equipment Operations gross margin (net sales of equipment less cost of goods sold) for agricultural and construction equipment was $574 million in the second quarter of 2005, compared to $551 million in the second quarter last year.

  • Agricultural equipment gross margin declined slightly compared to the prior year's second quarter, as most of the improvement in North America was offset by a substantial decline in volumes of higher-margin combines in Latin America and Europe.
  • Construction equipment gross margin was higher than in the prior-year second quarter, benefiting from volume improvements, mostly in North America, and increased pricing, which were partially offset by materials costs that were greater than anticipated, and other economics increases.

Industrial Operating Margin
Equipment Operations industrial operating margin (defined as net sales, less cost of goods sold, SG&A and R&D costs) was $248 million in the second quarter of 2005, or 7.3% of net sales, compared to $256 million or 7.8%, in the same period of 2004.  The improvement in gross margin dollars, noted above, was offset by an increase in selected investments to better support CNH's dealers, improve product quality, enhance global sourcing initiatives, and strengthen European logistics operations.

Adjusted EBITDA
Adjusted EBITDA for Equipment Operations was $274 million for the quarter, or 8.1% of net sales, compared to $259 million in the second quarter of 2004, or 7.9% of net sales.  Interest coverage was 5.1 times for the second quarter 2005, compared to 4.3 times for the prior year second quarter.

FINANCIAL SERVICES - Second Quarter Financial Results
Financial Services operations reported second quarter 2005 net income of $44 million, compared to $29 million for the second quarter last year.  Improved yields on the wholesale portfolio and higher retail and wholesale ABS volumes were the principal factors contributing to the improvement in net income compared to the prior period.

CNH CONSOLIDATED INCOME BEFORE TAXES, MINORITY INTEREST AND EQUITY IN INCOME OF UNCONSOLIDATED SUBDISIARIES
CNH's consolidated second quarter 2005 income before taxes, minority interest, and equity in income of unconsolidated subsidiaries was $165 million, compared to $108 million for the second quarter last year.  The year-over-year improvement of $57 million reflects the combination of the improvements in Equipment Operations and at Financial Services in the period, compared with the second quarter 2004.  These results include pre-tax restructuring charges of $6 million in the second quarter of 2005 and $39 million in last year's second quarter.

CNH - Year-to-Date Financial Results
CNH's net income for the first six months was $129 million, compared to $74 million for the first six months of 2004.  Results include restructuring charges, net of tax, of $8 million in the first half of 2005, and $37 million in the first half of 2004.  First half diluted earnings per share were  up 72% to $.55, compared to $.32 in the first half of 2004.

EQUIPMENT OPERATIONS - Year-to-Date Financial Results
Net sales of equipment, comprising the company's agricultural and construction equipment businesses, were $6.2 billion for the first six months of 2005, compared to $5.9 billion for the same period in 2004.  Net of currency variations, net sales increased by 2% over the prior year's first half.

Adjusted EBITDA for Equipment Operations was $404 million for the first half of 2005, or 6.5% of net sales, compared to $387 million in the first half of 2004, or 6.5% of net sales.  Interest coverage was 3.6 times for the first half of 2005, compared to 3.1 times for the prior year first half.

FINANCIAL SERVICES - Year-to-Date Financial Results
Financial Services operations reported first half 2005 net income of $93 million, compared to $56 million for the first half last year.  This improvement reflects the first quarter 2005 $1.4 billion retail asset backed securitization transaction, lower risks costs associated with the improvements in Financial Services receivables portfolio quality, improved yields on the wholesale portfolio, and higher retail and wholesale ABS volumes in the second quarter.

CNH CONSOLIDATED INCOME BEFORE TAXES, MINORITY INTEREST AND EQUITY IN INCOME OF UNCONSOLIDATED SUBDISIARIES
CNH's consolidated first half 2005 income before taxes, minority interest, and equity in income of unconsolidated subsidiaries was $188 million, compared to $99 million for the first half last year.  The year-over-year improvement of $89 million reflects the combination of the improvements in Equipment Operations and at Financial Services in the period, compared with the first half of 2004.  These results include pre-tax restructuring charges of $11 million in the first half of 2005 and $58 million in last year's first half.

NET DEBT AND OPERATING CASH FLOW
Equipment Operations net debt (defined as total debt less cash and cash equivalents, deposits in Fiat affiliates cash management pools and inter-segment receivables) was $824 million at June 30, 2005, compared to $1.6 billion on March 31, 2005 and $1.8 billion at June 30, 2004.  The decline in net debt in the quarter reflected $882 million in cash from operating activities.

A decrease in working capital (defined as accounts and notes receivable, excluding inter-segment notes receivable, plus inventories less accounts payable), net of currency variations, contributed approximately $472 million to cash from operating activities, in the quarter.  This decrease is primarily driven by an expansion of our accounts receivables securitization program, particularly in Europe, of approximately $345 million.  This represents a further step in CNH's initiative to consolidate management of receivables within its Financial Services operations.

Excluding the expansion of our accounts receivables program, working capital decreased by $127 million, compared with an increase of approximately $106 million in the second quarter last year. At incurred currency rates, working capital on June 30, 2005 was $2.4 billion, compared to $3.1 billion on June 30, 2004.

In addition to the improvements in working capital, net income, seasonal increases in accruals, and a $60 million dividend from Financial Services to Equipment Operations contributed the balance of the cash from operating activities in the quarter.

CNH expects to become an eligible borrower under Fiat S.p.A.'s recently closed 1 billion Euro credit facility agreement.  Under the new facility, CNH will be allocated exclusive rights to 300 million Euros of the syndicated credit line, plus the opportunity to access the remainder of any unutilized capacity.  This arrangement will replace CNH's expiring $1.8 billion credit line which was never utilized and was a back-up to support CNH's then-existing commercial paper program.  With the new facility, other existing facilities and liquidity on its balance sheet, CNH believes its liquidity needs are adequately covered.

Financial Services net debt increased approximately $800 million to $4.0 billion on June 30, 2005 from $3.2 billion on March 31, 2005, reflecting primarily the increased portfolio of receivables under management.

CNH OUTLOOK FOR 2005

CNH believes that for the full year 2005, the agricultural equipment market will be at the same level as last year, although slightly different by region than was previously anticipated.  CNH expects that total tractor industry sales in North America should be slightly lower than was previously forecast, but over-40-horsepower tractors are expected to be better than last year by 5%-10%.  In Western Europe, the industry unit sales of tractors should be down about 5%, as previously forecast.  In Latin America, CNH expects that full-year tractor industry volumes will be about 25% below last year and sales of combines will be down 60%-65%.  Industry sales in rest-of-world markets are now expected to be up slightly.

CNH believes that, for the construction equipment industry, all regions will be stronger except for Western Europe, which will be slightly weaker than previously expected.  CNH's estimates of major agricultural and construction equipment industry retail unit sales, by major market area, are included in the supplemental information provided at the end of the release. 

CNH expects that its net sales of equipment for the full year 2005 will increase by up to 5%.  Including selected investments to better support CNH's dealers, improve product quality, enhance global sourcing initiatives, and strengthen European logistics operations, the company expects that its consolidated income before taxes, minority interest and equity in income of unconsolidated subsidiaries will improve by 60%-70%.  This improvement is due to reduced restructuring expenses, improvement in Financial Services results, and improvements in Equipment Operations.  The full benefit of these expected improvements will be partially offset by an increase in our effective tax rate when compared to 2004.  As a result, we anticipate net income before restructuring will improve by approximately 10% to 15% compared with the full year 2004, depending upon market conditions and commodity cost evolution.  Net of tax, restructuring costs for the full year are expected to be approximately $65 million.

For the third quarter, the company expects its revenues from net sales of equipment to increase slightly compared with the third quarter of 2004.  Including the effects of our increased spending for SG&A and R&D, CNH expects that net income, excluding restructuring costs, will be approximately the same as in the third quarter last year.  Net of tax, restructuring costs for the third quarter are expected to be approximately $10 million.

Further, the company expects Equipment Operations to generate approximately $250 million of cash flow during the year, after including its third-quarter contribution to its US defined benefit pension plans of about $100 million, as previously anticipated.  CNH expects to use that cash to further reduce Equipment Operations net debt, when compared with year-end 2004 levels.

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CNH management will hold a conference call later today to review its second quarter results. The conference call webcast will begin at approximately 10:00 a.m. U.S. Eastern Time. This call can be accessed through the investor information section of the company's web site at www.cnh.com and is being carried by CCBN.

CNH is the power behind leading agricultural and construction equipment brands of the Case and New Holland brand families. Supported by more than 11,400 dealers in 160 countries, CNH brings together the knowledge and heritage of its brands with the strength and resources of its worldwide commercial, industrial, product support and finance organizations. More information about CNH and its products can be found on line at www.cnh.com.

Forward looking statements
This press release includes "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. All statements other than statements of historical fact contained in this press release, including statements regarding our competitive strengths, business strategy, future financial position, budgets, projected costs and plans and objectives of management, are forward-looking statements. These statements may include terminology such as "may," "will," "expect," "should," "intend," "estimate," "anticipate," "believe," "outlook," "continue," "remain," "on track," "goal," or similar terminology.

Our outlook is predominantly based on our interpretation of what we consider key economic assumptions and involves risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ. Crop production and commodity prices are strongly affected by weather and can fluctuate significantly. Housing starts and other construction activity are sensitive to interest rates and government spending. Some of the other significant factors for us include general economic and capital market conditions, the cyclical nature of our business, customer buying patterns and preferences, foreign currency exchange rate movements, our hedging practices, our and our customers' access to credit, actions by rating agencies concerning the ratings on our debt and asset backed securities and the ratings of Fiat S.p.A., risks related to our relationship with Fiat S.p.A., political uncertainty and civil unrest or war in various areas of the world, pricing, product initiatives and other actions taken by competitors, disruptions in production capacity, excess inventory levels, the effect of changes in laws and regulations (including government subsidies and international trade regulations), technological difficulties, results of our research and development activities, changes in environmental laws, employee and labor relations, pension and health care costs, the cost and availability of supplies from our suppliers, raw material costs and availability, energy prices, real estate values, animal diseases, crop pests, harvest yields, government farm programs and consumer confidence, housing starts and construction activity, concerns related to modified organisms and fuel and fertilizer costs. Additionally, our achievement of the anticipated benefits of our profit improvement initiatives depends upon, among other things, industry volumes as well as our ability to effectively rationalize our operations and to execute our dual brand strategy. Further information concerning factors that could significantly affect expected results is included in our Form 20-F for the year ended December 31, 2004.

We can give no assurance that the expectations reflected in our forward-looking statements will prove to be correct. Our actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements. All written and oral forward-looking statements attributable to us are expressly qualified in their entirety by the factors we disclose that could cause our actual results to differ materially from our expectations. We undertake no obligation to update or revise publicly any forward-looking statements.


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