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MAN's First-Quarter Profit Increased by 47%

Truck maker MAN, which failed in its plan to buy Scania, said Thursday its first-quarter profit rose 47% as demand for its trucks and cost-cutting plans bore fruit for the company.

The Munich-based company also doubled its sales outlook for the rest of 2007.

MAN expects sales this year to grow by 10% -- revising its earlier estimate of 5%. Last year the company posted sales of 13 billion euros ($17.66 billion).

The company earned 224 million euros ($304.37 million) in the three months through March, up from 152 million euros a year earlier and beating the 189 million euros ($256.81 million) that analysts polled by Dow Jones Newswires had expected.

Sales rose 15% to 3.3 billion euros ($4.48 billion), ahead of analysts' expectations of 3.16 billion euros ($4.29 billion).

Operating profit, a yardstick used by analysts to gauge a company's fiscal health, rose 51% to 318 million euros ($432.1 million).

MAN said its order intake, a key figure used to divine future sales and predict earnings growth, increased by 23% to 4.81 billion euros ($6.54 billion), up from 3.92 billion euros a year earlier.

MAN also expects the strong profitability reached in the first quarter to be upheld throughout the year.

"For all of 2007, we are expecting a return on sales at the level of the first quarter," MAN Chief Executive Hakan Samuelsson said in a statement.

MAN shares were up more than 1% at 102.30 euros ($139.01) in trading.

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