P.M. BRIEFING : Trucks, Buses Boost Volvo Profits

From Times wire services

Diversified Swedish auto maker Volvo today reported a 55% rise in fourth-quarter pretax earnings, helped by stronger performances in its truck and bus operations. The company raised its dividend by one third.

The strong fourth-quarter operating results of $390 million against $252 million helped it turn in a stronger-than-expected full year pretax profit of $1.29 billion. Sales rose by 4% overall. The car division, still by far the biggest, raised sales by 2%, which analysts saw as an achievement considering the deterioration in Volvo’s terms of trade in the key North American market caused by a weaker dollar.