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dpa/GNA – Swedish commercial vehicle maker Volvo Group on Wednesday reported a 37-per-cent rise in fourth-quarter net profit, partly driven by strong orders for trucks and cost-efficiency measures.

The company’s quarterly net profit of 9.36 billion kronor (1.1 billion dollars) was far higher than 6.8 billion kronor in the same period in 2019.

Net sales in the quarter, adjusted for currency movements, were almost unchanged at 96.9 billion kronor.

Truck orders increased by 61 per cent in the period October to December to 86,609 trucks, while deliveries remained roughly the same year-on-year at 56,334 trucks.

“Customer usage of trucks and machines increased when the Covid-19 restrictions were eased during the summer and this development continued during both Q3 and Q4,” chief executive Martin Lundstedt said in a statement.

He noted that transport activity and the construction industry were “back at levels on par with the prior year in most markets.”

In addition to trucks, the Volvo Group sells buses and construction machinery, and includes the engine-making division Volvo Penta.

The group does not include the brand’s China-owned car division owned by Zhejiang Geely Holding.

At the end of December, the group had about 96,200 employees including temporary employees and consultants, down about 7 per cent year-on-year.

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