Volvo Construction Equipment has descibed 2012 as a “reasonable” year, despite a sharp downturn in sales as the year progressed.
Announcing its fourth quarter and full year results, Volvo reported that net sales for 2012 remained at the same level as the previous year, despite a dramatic drop in global demand in the second half of the year.
The firm’s annual sales increased by 1% to SEK63.558bn (£6.268bn), but operating income reduced during the year to SEK5.773bn (£569M), down from SEK6.812bn (£672M) in the preceding year. Forward orders at the end of the year were down by 36% compared with the end of 2011.
“Taken as a whole, 2012 was a reasonable year,” commented Volvo Construction Equipment president Pat Olney. “We sold over 78,000 machines, recorded the company’s second highest ever revenues and our proactive downturn management helped protect cash flow and profitability. We recognised the turn in the industry early, and the work undertaken to reduce pipeline inventories was successful.”
The company is expecting 2013 to be “subdued”, with unit sales in Europe predicted to decline by 5-15%. Sales in China, North America and South America are forecast to be similar to 21012 levels.