Volvo hits record sales, but trade war dents profits

Volvo Cars, the Swedish luxury brand owned by China's Geely, defied a slowing global auto market to set a record for sales in the first half of the year, although US trade war tariffs and falling prices squeezed profits.

Volvo hits record sales, but trade war dents profits
An electric-powered Volvo is exhibited at a car show. File photo: AP Photo/Andy Wong

The 7.3 percent year-on-year jump to a record 340,286 cars during the first half of the year was accompanied by a 5.9 percent rise in sales revenue to 130 billion Swedish kronor ($13.9 billion, 12.4 billion euros) 

“At a time when most markets in the world see stagnating car sales, we have had strong growth in the first half,” chief executive Hakan Samuelsson was quoted as saying in a statement.

But increased pricing pressure and tariffs squeezed operating profit, he acknowledged, adding that the company had implemented cost controls that should be felt in the second half of this year.

Reflecting these pressures, operating profit tumbled nearly 30 percent to 5.5 billion Swedish kronor.

Last year Volvo Cars, bought by Geely from Ford in 2010, set an annual sales record of more than 600,000 vehicles although profits were already feeling the effects of the US trade war with China and the European Union. 

READ ALSO: Strange but true: North Korea owes Sweden millions for Volvos from the 1970s

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