Market share gains in key segments coupled with good cost control and growing demand in most markets helped Volvo Construction Equipment (Volvo CE) post an especially strong third quarter of 2017. This saw sales up 34%, order intake up 45% and delivers up 48% in the period, as well as a strong improvement in profitability.
Adjusted for currency movements, net sales in the third quarter increased by 34% to SEK 15,091 M (11,539). Operating income was also strongly up, jumping 237% to SEK 2,024 M, up from 601 M in the corresponding period in 2016. This represented a significant step up in operating margin, to 13.4% (5.2%). Profitability was positively impacted by higher sales, improved capacity utilization in the industrial system and again from the sale of Volvo CE’s dealership in Great Britain.
Net order intake in the third quarter increased by 45% compared with the same quarter in 2016. This increase was largely driven by higher intake from China, as well as growth in other Asian markets and Russia. Deliveries increased by 48%, to 14,431 machines.
Up to the end of August, the European market was up 15%, driven by the growth in the UK, France and Italy. The German market is slightly above last year, while the recovering Russian market is up 101%. North America is 7% above last year, due to growth in demand for excavators, both compact and larger general-purpose machines. The South American is 6% above last year but remains at very low levels. In Asia (excluding China) the total market is 12% above last year, with continued growth in India and Indonesia, helped by a recovering mining sector. The Chinese market is 74% above last year, with strong recoveries in both excavators and large wheel loaders.
“This is an especially strong performance. Volvo CE has responded well to the growing demand, with volume increases up 48%, while at the same time taking a significant step up in profitability,” commented Martin Weissburg, president of Volvo Construction Equipment. “We also continue to gain market share within our product and market strongholds.”
During the quarter Volvo CE produced its 75,000th articulated hauler. Having produced more than half the articulated haulers ever made, about 50,000 Volvo haulers are still in regular use around the world.