Scania announces strong results

Swedish bus and truck manufacturer Scania has reported a profit after net costs of 2.17 billion kronor for the final quarter of last year - a slight rise on the same period last year, when profit was 2.133 billion kronor.

The result surprised analysts, who on average had predicted a profit of 1.939 billion kronor, according to Reuters.

Turnover climbed to 18.286 billion kronor from 16.264 billion kronor.

Orders, measured in numbers of vehicles, rose to 17,597 from 15,429 while deliveries increased to 17,134 from 18,862 vehicles.

The board proposed an unchanged dividend of 15 kronor per share.

Managing director Leif Östling wrote in his commentary that 2005 was a strong year for Scania, with record invoicing for both vehicles and services.

“The strong trend in orders for vehicles during the fourth quarter, which was partly as a result of advance purchases of vehicles with the Euro 3 motor in Europe, will influence orders in the second half of 2006,” wrote Östling.

He said that the long term outlook for trucks in Europe remained positive.

The report was received well by the stock market, with B-shares rising 3% to 312 kronor.


Volkswagen gets shares to take over Scania

Volkswagen, Europe's biggest carmaker, was set to take full control of Swedish truck manufacturer Scania on Tuesday after a small but crucial shareholder agreed to sell its shares.

Volkswagen gets shares to take over Scania
Swedish pension fund Alecta previously held out for a higher share price but agreed to sell its 2.04-percent stake in Scania, paving the way for Volkswagen to acquire full control the company.
On April 30, the German car giant said it lacked less than two percent more shares to reach its 90 percent goal, and thereby force the sale of the remaining shares.
"After new discussions with Volkswagen we have concluded that there will be no increase in their offer," Alecta said in a statement, referring to Volkswagen's refusal to pay more than 200 kronor ($30.5) per share.
In February, Volkswagen offered €6.7 billion ($9.3 billion) to acquire the nearly 40 percent of Scania it did not already own and to strengthen its position against its German competitors Daimler and the Swedish truck maker Volvo.
Scania's board of directors recommended shareholders not to part with shares at the price offered.
The offer expired on April 25th. However, confident that shareholders could be won over, Volkswagen extended its offer to May 16.
The German auto giant already owns truck and bus-maker MAN and bought into Scania in 2000.
It had previously said that it could make annual savings of €650 million through economies of scale by taking full control of the Swedish company.
The takeover is just the latest to hit Sweden's beleaguered vehicle manufacturing sector which has seen Chinese takeovers of the once iconic car brands Saab and Volvo.
Volvo Trucks announced more than 4,000 job cuts over the last six months and a voluntary redundancy scheme aimed to cut costs and increase profitability.