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Volvo Q1 profits down, truck orders up

Jason Cannon April 25, 2013

An 11 percent improvement in first quarter truck orders weren’t enough to offset Volvo AB’s slumping sales.

In an earnings call Thursday, the Swedish truck maker reported its first rise in truck orders in six quarters, 61,045 units –  a 30 percent gain over the previous quarter.

The boost in orders prompted the company and its key suppliers to announce plans to step up production.

“We saw this big uptick in the order intake come in at the end of the quarter,” Chief Executive Olof Persson says, speculating that the increased orders could signal that an economic slump in Europe may be nearing an end. ”The uncertainty we had in the market during the second half of last year and in the beginning of this year has been replaced with more stability and our customers had more confidence to actually place orders.”

North American Truck sales sank 32 percent with global sales dropping 23 percent.

“I can say…the good demand we have seen continued also in the first weeks of the second quarter,” Persson adds.

Mack and Volvo dealers faired a little better, posting a 14 percent decline in retail sales in the first quarter of the year and moving more than 50,000 units, down from nearly 58,000 last year.

The company reported revenue of $8.9 billion, a drop of 25 percent.

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