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.