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SCANIA

Scania reports sharp profit jump

Swedish truckmaker Scania on Thursday reported a 44.7-percent surge in second-quarter net earnings but the results disappointed the market and the share price fell sharply.

Scania shares were down 12.12 percent at 159.5 kronor in mid-day deals on an overall Stockholm market was 1.46 percent weaker.

Scania said that in the April-June quarter its net profit rose to 2.008 billion kronor ($299 million) from the same period of 2006, an improvement it attributed to healthy sales.

Earnings before taxes showed a 45.9 percent jump to 2.895 billion kronor, which failed to meet market expectations of 3.046 billion kronor.

The operating margin of 13.6 percent, after 11.3 percent in the second quarter of 2006, also disappointed analysts, who had foreseen a margin of 15.2 percent.

Second quarter sales gained 16.3 percent to 20.911 billion kronor.

The company maintained its two-year forecast, which foresees average annual growth between 2007 and 2009 of 10 percent in sales and an operating margin of 12-13 percent.

On Wednesday another Swedish truck manufacturer, Volvo, said environmental standards in the United States had hit sales hard and dragged down profits in the second quarter.

Net profit fell by 13.9 percent on a 12-month comparison to 4.03 billion kronor for April to June, but the group said global demand for trucks was exceptionally strong.

SCANIA

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.
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