Volvo AB continued to get a boost from pent-up demand during the third quarter, while the Swedish truckmaker expects markets to weaken from a high level next year against a tougher economic backdrop.
(Bloomberg) — Volvo AB continued to get a boost from pent-up demand during the third quarter, while the Swedish truckmaker expects markets to weaken from a high level next year against a tougher economic backdrop.
Demand has started to normalize from high levels with new order intake down 27% in the three months through September, the company said Wednesday. Volvo is sitting on a high backlog of truck orders after supply bottlenecks reduced output, and the manufacturer forecast its major markets to be firm for the rest of the year.
The shares rose as much as 3.2% in early trading in Stockholm, the most since April, to take gains this year to just over 27%.
Truckmakers have been resilient in a slowing global economy, and in July rival Daimler Truck Holding AG raised its outlook for the year. Volvo, the world’s second biggest truckmaker and among the most profitable in the business, is aiming for a margin in excess of 10% — while gradually shifting its lineup to electric vehicles.
Both Europe and North America’s heavy-truck markets are set to contract in 2024, with demand in the former seen down 50,000 trucks to 290,000 and North America expected to contract by 40,000 to 330,000, Volvo said. The reduction follows Chief Executive Martin Lundstedt earlier this year hinting that rising interest rates and macroeconomic volatility could weigh on demand.
“We are reiterating our view of a normalization in the market but it’s important to remember that the 2024 forecast still represents good levels,” he said Wednesday.
For the third-quarter, the company reported an adjusted third-quarter operating profit of 19 billion kronor ($1.74 billion), above analyst forecasts for a 16.3 billion kronor result. The result got a boost from currency tailwinds.
(Updates with shares in third, CEO comment in sixth paragraph. An earlier version of the story corrected a timeframe in the second paragraph)
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