GO
Loading...

UPDATE 1-Volvo to cut more jobs after Q4 profit undershoots

* More than doubles planned job cuts to 4,400

* Says majority of jobs cuts to come in 2014

* Q4 core profit 3.1 bln SEK vs forecast 3.8 bln

* North American growth underpins order rise

* Q4 truck orders up 12 pct yr/yr vs forecast -1 pct

(Adds detail, background)

STOCKHOLM, Feb 6 (Reuters) - World No.2 truck maker Volvo has more than doubled the number of jobs it is cutting in a drive to improve profitability to 4,400, after currency headwinds and costs for launching new models curbed a rise in quarterly earnings.

Volvo, whose profitability has traditionally lagged rivals such as Scania and U.S. group Paccar, unveiled a vast efficiency drive in 2012 aimed at raising its operating margin by 3 percentage points by the end of 2015.

The reduction of jobs and consultants unveiled on Thursday included 2,000 positions announced last year but more than doubled the total reduction, with staff to be shed in its trucks business and in areas such as sales and marketing.

"The personnel reductions will begin immediately and a majority will be implemented during 2014," Chief Executive Olof Persson said in a statement.

The news came as Volvo, vying for market leadership with Germany's Daimler, posted fourth-quarter operating earnings excluding restructuring charges of 3.08 billion crowns ($471.65 million) from 2.19 billion a year earlier, below a forecast 3.80 billion in a Reuters poll of analysts.

Daimler is also due to report results on Thursday.

However, Volvo's order bookings held up better than expected despite a sharp slowdown in Europe in the wake of new emission rules coming into force at the end of the year, as activity shot up in North America, more than making up for the shortfall.

Volvo, which makes heavy-duty trucks under the Renault, Mack and UD brands as well as its own name, said order intake of its trucks rose 12 percent year-on-year in the fourth quarter, topping the 1 percent decline seen by analysts.

($1 = 6.5302 Swedish crowns)

(Reporting by Niklas Pollard and Johannes Hellstrom; Editing by Mark Potter)

Symbol
Price
 
Change
%Change
VOLV.B
---
SNAB
---