Volvo AB (VOLVY) shares were the top gainers in early European trading after the truckmaker posted stronger-than-expected third quarter profits and issued a robust outlook for the rest of the year
Volvo said earnings for the three months ending in September came in at SEK7.02 billion ($861 million) on sales of SEK77,225 billion, a 12% increase from the same period last year. The company's order book swelled by 32%, the company said, over the third quarter.
"Looking ahead to the next couple of quarters, we will be working hard to secure the introduction and the ramp-up of production of the new truck portfolio in North America as well as working together with our suppliers to reduce inefficiencies due to supply constraints for our truck production," said CEO Martin Lundstedt.
"This focus together with acceleration in our development of new and modular technologies will continue to drive better performance and customer success," he added.
Volvo said it delivered 171,379 trucks in its North American over the first nine months of the year and lifted its full-year forecast by 10,000 units to 325,000.
"In North America the long-haul and regional haul segments are coming back and the construction segment continued to perform well in the quarter," the company said. "Good economic conditions, increasing freight rates and stabilized used truck prices contribute to improving demand."
"The total market forecast for retail sales is upgraded to 235,000 trucks for 2017 and retail sales for 2018 is estimated to increase to 260,000 trucks," Volvo added.
Volvo shares were marked 6% higher by late morning in Stockholm and changing hands SEK164.40 and extending its year-to-date gains past 55%.
Earlier Friday, German rival Daimler AG (DDAIF) said sales at its trucks division, which it plans to separate into a stand-alone business until, will increase sharply in the final three months of the year.
The Mercedes Benz-maker said earnings for the three months ending in September came in at €3.46 billion, down 14% from the same period last year but matching analysts' forecasts. Group revenue was up 6% to €40.8 billion, with a 10% gain in China sales leading the charge. Daimler Trucks revenue grew 17%, the company said, to €9.2 billion.
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