Volvo reports drop in truck orders, net sales in fourth quarter

Volvo Group (OTC: VLVLY) reported a significant jump in its fourth-quarter income, but truck orders and net sales declined compared with 2018 numbers.

While net sales dipped 5% to SEK 105.4 billion (the Swedish krona equals US$0.10) in the fourth quarter, the Swedish truck maker posted an 11% jump to SEK 432 billion in net sales for the year ending Dec. 31.

Volvo’s fourth-quarter income was SEK 6.83 billion, up significantly from SEK 2.7 billion it reported in the same quarter a year ago.

Adjusted operating income was SEK 9.22 billion during the last three months of 2019, down from SEK 10.6 billion from a year earlier. However, the adjusted income was up 11.1% to SEK 47,910 billion for all of 2019.

“Our increased profitability and strong financial position allow us to invest in our future as well as return cash to our shareholders,” Volvo Group CEO Martin Lundstedt said in a statement.

Volvo, the parent company of Volvo Trucks North America and Mack Trucks, is the second-largest truck manufacturer behind Daimler AG. It reported that truck sales dropped 5% to SEK 68.2 billion compared to the fourth quarter in 2018. However, total truck sales for the year increased by 11% to SEK 276.6 billion in 2019, according to Volvo.

Volvo took 53,315 truck orders worldwide during the fourth quarter, down 10% compared to 53,315 orders for the same period in 2019. Customer deliveries fell by 9% in the fourth quarter.

In North America, orders decreased by 33% to 9,340 trucks, down from 14,014 for the same quarter in 2018. North American deliveries were down 16% from a year earlier.

“In North America, we will reduce production further in the first quarter to meet the lower demand and to facilitate a necessary dealer destocking,” Lundstedt said.

In December, Volvo announced its intent to form a strategic alliance with Isuzu Motors. 

“The first step is the establishment of a global technology partnership and the creation of a stronger, combined heavy-duty truck business in Japan and across international markets,” Lundstedt said in the earnings report.