Continued increased marine sales for Volvo Penta

Volvo Penta’s sales of engines to leisure boats have increased by 5% this year, which was shown in the Volvo Group’s interim report for the first quarter of 2003.
Volvo Penta has started 2003 very strongly. Despite the weakened world economy, the successes continue, due among other factors to Volvo Penta succeeding to defend and strengthen its market shares.

“Our aggressive product renewal has strengthened our market positions and the increased market shares are holding against the weakening in the world economy,” says Volvo Penta’s President, Staffan Jufors.

Sales in the first quarter of the 2003 were distributed among Volvo Penta’s three business segments as follows (SEK M):

Marine Leisure1,2791,215+5%
Marine Commercial207236-12%

Sales of Volvo Penta´s industrial engines were negatively effected by the war situation in Iraq and a sales drop in Saudi Arabia, one of Volvo Penta´s most important markets for industrial engines.

The decline in Volvo Penta´s total sales is due solely to the USD weakening sharply against the SEK. Sales of marine engines in Europe are currently at an all-time high. Excluding the dollar effect, Volvo Penta’s operations in North America are proceeding better than a year earlier.

Volvo Penta’s sales in Asia are also at a record-high level.

“During the first quarter of the year, we reported the highest order bookings in Volvo Penta’s history, which demonstrates how high the interest is in our products just now,” says Staffan Jufors.

Volvo Penta’s operating income in the first quarter amounted to SEK 159 M, compared with SEK 146 M in the year-earlier period. The operating margin was 8.3%.

Currently, Volvo Penta is operating at full capacity in its diesel engine plants in Vara, Sweden and Wuxi, China. Capacity utilization at the gasoline engine plant in Lexington, Tennessee in the US is also very high.