Volvo Q1 up over analysts forecast image

Swedish truck maker AB Volvo saw profits more than double in the first quarter as demand for heavy vehicles improved worldwide, the company said Wednesday.

The highly cyclical heavy-duty truck market has picked up strongly in recent quarters, with growth spreading out of emerging markets in Asia and Latin America to more mature markets on both sides of the North Atlantic.

Net income more than doubled to 4.09 billion kronor ($670 million), from 1.68 billion kronor a year earlier, the Gothenburg, Sweden-based company said. The average estimate in a Bloomberg survey of 12 analysts was for profit of 3.48 billion kronor. Revenue rose 22 percent to 71.6 billion kronor.

Net order intake in the first three months of 2011 jumped 40% year-to-year and exceeded deliveries in all markets as demand for Volvo’s trucks continued to accelerate. Volvo’s brands include Volvo, Renault, Mack and UD Trucks, and it is the world’s second-largest manufacturer after Germany’s Daimler AG.

Commenting on the results, the retiring President and Chief Executive Officer Leif Johansson said,

“We note that our mature markets are recovering, with continuing sharp sales increase and favorable profitability in our operations in the emerging markets of Brazil, China and India.”

The Volvo Group sells trucks and heavy vehicles, buses and construction machinery, and includes the divisions Volvo Aero and Volvo Penta. The group does not include the car division, which is owned by Chinese group Zhejiang Geely Holding Co.