Strong European truck market drives up Scania profits

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SODERTALJE, Sweden — While North American truck makers struggle in the wake of last years pre-buy, Swedish manufacturer Scania is having trouble keeping up with demand.

The company reported a 44% surge in net profit during the first quarter. The company said demand for new and used trucks is exceeding the supply in Europe and it expects that to remain the case for the foreseeable future. Sales were up 11% during the first quarter with order bookings jumping 45% to 27,637 bus and truck units.

Leif Ostling, chief executive of Scania, said theres a shortage of capacity in the European trucking industry. Demand is especially high in central and eastern Europe, he reported. The company is ramping up production to 80,000 vehicles a year and it expects to reach 100,000 vehicles by 2009.

Scania has recently fended off a hostile takeover bid by European rival MAN AG.

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