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VOLVO CARS

Jakob group ‘ready to bid’ for Volvo Cars

The Swedish consortium Jakob said on Monday it is ready to buy Volvo Cars if the opportunity arises.

“We’ve told Ford that we are ready to make a financed offer for Volvo,” Jakob consortium CEO Peder Fast told the TT news agency.

The bid puts Jakob third in line among prospective buyers of Ford’s Swedish unit.

Currently, Chinese automaker Geely has preferred status as a negotiating partner with Ford, while the US-based Crown group has also indicated its interest in buying Volvo.

The mail sent from Jakob to Ford is a sign that the fight for Volvo is far from over.

“It was sent on Friday,” Fast told TT.

According to Fast, Jakob has enough financial backing to make a fully funded offer for Volvo. However, he refused to say what the terms of the financing were or in what countries Jakob’s financers are based.

Meanwhile, Ford offered no feedback on Jakob or the group’s bid.

“We’re focused on our negotiations with Geely, which have been singled out as our ‘preferred bidder’,” Ford Europe spokesperson John Gardiner told the magazine Ny Teknik.

“Therefore we can’t comment on other possible offers.”

Ford’s interest in considering an offer from Jakob is important to the Swedish consortium and is one of the reasons it relayed its interest to Volvo’s US-based owner.

“What’s important is that Ford is interested in considering our offer,” said Fast.

“It takes two to tango.”

Fast added that Jakob’s group of international backers very much wants to know whether or not Ford is interested in the consortium’s bid.

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CARS

Volvo stays in fast lane despite China dip

Swedish automaker Volvo Cars, owned by China's Geely, reported Wednesday a rise in first half profits even as sales tumbled in its biggest market, China.

Volvo stays in fast lane despite China dip
Volvo Cars' Swedish chief executive, Håkan Samuelsson. Photo: Bertil Ericson/TT

Note: An earlier version of this story said that first-half profits fell. While net profit attributable to shareholders indeed fell, overall net profits were up. The story has been amended to reflect this.

Net profit more than tripled to 877 million kronor (92 million euros, $56 million), while turnover climbed by 12 percent to 75.2 billion kronor.

Operating profit surged by more than 70 percent to 1.66 billion kronor, thanks to a strong US currency and robust sales of Volvo's SUV model XC60.

But net income attributable to owners of the parent company dropped by 60 percent to 173 million kronor (18 million euros, $20 million).

Volvo's overall car sales in terms of units rose by 1.4 percent to 232,284 during the first half.

The strongest sales growth was registered in Sweden and western Europe, while they remained stable in the United States and declined in China, by 1.2 percent, and the rest of the world, including Russia.

Volvo went through several dark years before returning to profit in 2013. In 2014, it beat its sales record from 2007, selling almost 466,000 vehicles. CEO Hakan Samuelsson told Swedish news agency TT the company expects to sell 500,000 cars this year.

The number of Volvo employees has risen by 10 percent in the past year, to 28,000 worldwide.

Despite its economic slowdown, Volvo plans to boost its presence in China and has acquired 50 percent of three joint ventures from parent company Geely: two assembly plants and one research and development centre.

Geely paid $1.8 billion to buy Volvo from US carmaker Ford in 2010.