STOCKHOLM, Sweden (AP) _ Swedish automaker AB Volvo on Thursday reported a pretax profit of 6.11 billion kronor ($765 million) for the first half of 1998, a 23 percent drop from the same period a year ago.
Analysts had been expecting Volvo to earn 5.05 billion kronor. Profits in this year’s and last year’s first half were affected by significant one-time gains.
Volvo’s sales increased to 101.7 billion kronor ($12.7 billion), from 89 billion kronor in the first six months of 1997. Volvo reported North American sales rose 26 percent and were up 13 percent in Europe.
``That more than compensated for the decline in Asia,″ the company said in a statement.
Much of this half-year’s profit came from capital gains and other one-time factors, including 2.13 billion kronor from the sale of shares. Similar gains from the same period a year ago were 3.27 billion kronor.
The company did not address recent speculation that Volvo and Germany’s Volkswagen are considering a merger or an alliance.