Soaring profits at Volvo

Swedish industrial group Volvo announced on Tuesday a 151-percent rise in net profits in the third quarter to post its strongest quarterly earnings report ever on strong demand and high capacity utilization.

The group, which makes trucks, buses, aviation and marine engines and construction equipment, registered a net profit of 2.93 billion kronor during the period, up from 1.16 billion

a year ago.

Sales rose by 14 percent to 52.5 billion kronor, up from 46 billion, while operating profit surged by 38 percent, from 2.9 billion kronor to 4.0 billion.

“This was our best third quarter ever,” Volvo chief executive Leif Johansson said in a statement, noting that all of the group’s divisions saw their profits grow.

“The result is attributable to high global demand, high capacity utilization and strong work efforts in the improvement measures taken throughout the group,” Johansson said.

Volvo also raised its forecasts for the full-year.

“We assess that the total market for heavy trucks in Europe and North America during 2005 will be somewhat higher than previous estimates,” it said.

It forecast growth of five percent in Europe, compared to a range of zero to five percent announced in the second quarter, and about 25 percent in North America instead of the previously expected 20 percent.