Volvo Doubles 2Q Profit Amid Improved Sales in Europe, North America

Thu July 22, 2004 - National Edition

STOCKHOLM, Sweden (AP) Swedish truck, bus and construction equipment maker Volvo said July 21 that it doubled its second-quarter profits as demand increased for the company’s heavy trucks in Europe and North America.

Volvo reported a profit of 2.6 billion kronor (US $348.3 million), or 6.20 kronor (83 cents) a share, for the April through June period, compared with 1.7 billion billion kronor, or 4.10 kronor a share, in the same period last year.

Sales were up 21 percent to 53 billion kronor (US $7.1 billion), led by strong demand for its heavy trucks, outboard engines and construction equipment.

For the first six months of the year, Volvo said its net income was 4.8 billion kronor (US$643.1 million), compared with 2.2 billion kronor in 2003.

Shares of Volvo were up 3.1 percent to 266 kronor (US$35.64) in trading on the Stockholm exchange.

The Goteborg-based company said its outlook for heavy truck sales for the rest of the year would be up by 8.6 percent to 250,000 trucks sold in Europe, while anticipating 30 percent growth in North America, or sales of 230,000 to 240,000 trucks.

It also said its bus and aviation units had finally turned a profit with more orders coming in.

The Swedish company sold its car division to U.S.-based Ford Motor Co. in 1999.

“Volvo’s new product programs continued to be successful during the upturn and are in strong demand among customers,” chief executive Leif Johansson said. “We increased market shares in several segments.”