Positive quarterly reports
Swedish major Swedish companies have filed generally upbeat first quarter reports.
Telecoms giant Ericsson posted a whopping 224 percent rise in profits for the period, to 675 million US dollars, far exceeding expectations. The company attributed the improvement to surging mobile broadband sales, but said it will take until the third quarter to resolve supply issues caused by the earthquake in Japan.
But the earthquake and high oil prices helped the Swiss-Swedish engineering group ABB, as they spurred demand for energy-efficient power and automation equipment. ABB says its market orders were up 22 percent, while mature markets were up 27 percent from a year earlier.
Handelsbanken, Sweden’s second largest bank, reported an operating profit nearly matching the year earlier total, but lower-than-expected, as exchange rate factors and weak brokerage fees took a toll.
The world number two home appliance maker. Electrolux, reported slightly smaller than expected quarterly earnings. Like its rival Whirpool, Electrolux says it has been hit by price pressures and soaring costs for raw materials.
Volvo and Scania, two of Europe’s biggest truck makers, reported mixed results. Volvo Trucks says profits more than doubled and orders rose by 40 percent and raised its 2011 market outlook. Scania says its truck orders have risen by 19 percent, and pointed to disruptions at sub-contractors.