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Volvo optimistic as losses mount

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10:21 CET+01:00
Swedish truck maker Volvo said on Friday that it sees signs of recovery in the global economy, despite reporting widening losses in the fourth quarter of 2009.

For 2009, a disastrous year for truck makers, Volvo reported a net loss 14.7 billion kronor ($1.96 billion) against a net profit of 10 billion kronor in 2008.

In the fourth quarter alone, Volvo's losses widened to two billion kronor from to a loss of 1.36 billion kronor in the three months to December 2008.

"In the fourth quarter, demand remained generally weak in our principal markets although we can see signs of recovery in an increasing number of markets," CEO Leif Johansson said.

Volvo said sales plunged 28 percent over the year to 218.4 billion kronor, and had fallen 23 percent in the fourth quarter to 59.8 billion kronor.

"Despite the sharp decline in sales, the underlying operating loss was limited due to cost-reduction measures and improved productivity," Johansson said.

Volvo Group - which makes trucks, buses and boat and aircraft equipment, but does not include the Volvo Cars brand - said it would not distribute a dividend for 2009.

Its shares in were up 3.2 percent to 66.6 kronor on a Stockholm Stock Exchange down 4.4 percent at around 10 am.

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