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Scania profits soar as new order growth lags

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Scania profits soar as new order growth lags
12:25 CEST+02:00
Swedish truckmaker Scania said Wednesday its net profit rose 77 percent in the first quarter of 2011, but that orders grew more modestly.

In the January-March period the company earned a net profit of 2.5 billion kronor ($412 million) on sales that rose by 25 percent from the same quarter last year to 20.7 billion.

The company also reported a pre-tax income of 3.48 billion kronor, somewhat higher than the 3.18 billion kronor projected by analysts in a Reuters survey.

"Higher vehicle and service volume and higher capacity utilisation explain the improvements compared to the first quarter of last year," Scania CEO Leif Östling said in a statement.

But in contrast to its Swedish competitor Volvo Group, which saw its truck orders jump by 40 percent, Scania saw a more modest growth of 19 percent to 17,354 vehicles.

"Scania is prioritising short and reliable delivery times, thereby limiting its order book," said Östling, adding that ehe company's operations were also negatively affected by subcontractor disruptions.

"These disruptions have not been related to the tragedy in Japan, however, the full impact of that series of events remains to be assessed," he said.

While the net earnings slightly beat market expectations, the sales disappointed, and Scania's shares were down 1.8 percent at 4pm in a flat market.

The report made no mention of ongoing merger talks with rival truckmaker MAN.

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