Volvo Construction Equipment has reported a fall in first quarter sales of 17% compared to the same period in 2019, with order intake also reduced by 7%.

Melker Jernberg, president, Volvo Construction Equipment

President Melker Jermberg said Volvo CE’s measures to stop Covid-19 had a severe impact on its global supply chain

The equipment manufacturer reported net sales in the three months to March 31 of SEK 20.14 billion (US$2.1 billion), against SEK24.2 billion ($2.55 billion) the previous year.

Only South America showed increased revenues, by 2%, while North America and Europe suffered the worst declines of 25% and 20% respectively. Asia, despite remaining the single biggest geographic market with sales of SEK8.4 billion ($882 million), was down 10% even though there was a recovery in the Chinese market during March.

Deliveries in the first quarter were down from 23,139 machines in 2019 to 20,170.

“The measures to stop the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic began affecting our operations in China in February, and had a severe impact in mid-March, when our global supply chain was disrupted and production halted in most parts of our operations,” said Volvo CE’s president Melker Jernberg.

“It is clear we are now entering a tough period, with both production stoppages and low demand having a negative impact on our profitability.

“That said, we take confidence in the fact that our customers are active in businesses that are important to society, and that our products and services are vital in building sustainable infrastructure for the future.”

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