Swedish truck maker Volvo reported a 36.5-per cent net profit slump in the third quarter on Friday, and cut market growth forecasts for this year, saying that orders had fallen 55 per cent for two quarters running.
The company said demand for heavy trucks, a leading indicator of the general economic climate, had slowed far faster than expected because of the deepening impact of the global crisis.
Net profit for the quarter fell on a 12-month comparison by 36.5 per cent to 2.0 billion kronor (201.1 million euros, 255 million dollars) and operating profit fell 36.6 per cent to 3.17 billion kronor even though sales edged up 2.0 per cent to 69.6 billion kronor.
Chief executive Leif Johansson said that after record sales and profits in the first two quarters, sales growth had slowed down far faster than expected.
The economic slowdown had been particularly exacerbated by the global financial crisis.
Demand was weak on the company's main market in Europe, and also in Japan, and signs were emerging that the economic climate was weakening in other parts of the world.
Orders taken in the third quarter had fallen by 55.0 per cent as in the second quarter.
Volvo said it now expected growth of the European market for heavy trucks this year to be zero to 5.0 per cent from the level last year. In the second quarter it had forecast the market would grow by 10 per cent this year.