Widespread demand

Measured in units sold, the total world market for heavy, compact and road machinery equipment increased by 18% in 2011, compared to 2010. After a long period of low growth, the mature markets of Europe saw rises of 31% in 2011, whereas demand in the previously sluggish North American market jumped by 37%. Asia excluding China grew by 28% and Other Markets by 14%. In China, government efforts to cool inflation dampened demand, but sales nevertheless increased by 7% in this, the world’s largest construction equipment market.

Recoveries in mature economies coupled with continued buoyant demand in emerging markets and internal cost reductions saw Volvo CE to a confident 2011 in terms of sales and income. During 2011 the company sold a record 84,000 machines, compared with 66,000 in 2010.

Net sales increased by 21% to SEK 64,987 M (53,810). Operating income rose to SEK 6,653 M (6,180) whereas the operating margin amounted to 10.2% (11.5). These are solid results given the significant currency headwinds and the supplier-related consequences of the earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan in early March, which had a negative effect on both sales and income.