Volvo’s announces 36 percent higher profit versus last year, for Q3 image

Swedish automaker Volvo, the world’s second-largest truck maker, reported Tuesday a higher than last year third-quarter profit, reflecting a 15 percent growth in sales and forecast a shrinking market in Europe next year but growth in North America.

Volvo’s net profit for the July-September period gained 36 percent versus last year, reaching 3.83 billion kronor ($595 million), weaker than the 3.99 billion kronor average estimated in a Bloomberg survey of 15 analysts. but up from the 2.85 billion kronor Volvo posted in the same period a year ago.

The group’s sales rose 15 percent, to 73.3 billion kronor, above forecasts of 71.2 billion kronor and far higher than the 63.9 million kronor reported a year ago. Adjusted for currency fluctuations, the year-on-year sales increase was 22 percent.

Operating income improved to 5.8 billion kronor from 4.9 billion kronor a year ago, corresponding to an operating margin of 7.9 percent.

The group said it had noted a “slight slowdown” in Europe recently, and was therefore “preparing to reduce manufacturing rates in the European production system in the beginning of next year.”

Volvo forecast that 2012 industrywide sales will drop 10 percent in Europe and gain 20 percent in North America. Growth in truck orders slowed in the third quarter to 18 percent with demand most sluggish in Europe and Asia.

Last week, Scania, the swedish rival, stated that third-quarter net income rose 2 percent to 2.34 billion kronor as sales climbed 14 percent to 21.1 billion kronor.
Daimler AG, the world’s largest truckmaker, will publish figures on Oct. 27, and MAN SE will report results Nov. 2.