UPDATE 2-CNH Industrial sees operating profit up 60 pct by 2018
* Expects to become debt free over five-year plan period
* New industrial plan completes transition of merged group (Recasts with industrial plan; adds details, quotes)
By Agnieszka Flak
DETROIT, May 8 (Reuters) - Tractor and truck maker CNH Industrial NV expects to raise operating profit for its industrial activities by as much as 60 percent and become debt free over five years by expanding and refreshing its product lineup and growing in Asia.
Chief Executive Richard Tobin, in an investor presentation on Thursday, said he planned to boost the group's farming equipment portfolio and its geographic reach, return the construction machinery business to profitable growth and introduce new models for its pressured truck unit.
"We will be bold where we have the advantage and we will react quickly and decisively when the markets turn against us," Tobin said.
The company forecast operating profit for its industrial activities would rise to $3.4 billion by 2018, from $2.1 billion last year, while operating margin is seen reaching 9 percent.
The company said it would invest $11.7 billion over the five years 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.
CNH does not plan to pursue any mergers or acquisitions in that period, but will focus "exclusively on organic growth and performance," Tobin said. Continuación...