Sales for Volvo Construction Equipment (Volvo CE) increased by 5% for the full year of 2019 compared to 2018, helped by growing market share in the world’s largest construction market, China.
With most major original equipment manufacturers – including Volvo CE – reporting strong sales figures for 2018, the record growth following this in 2019 can be viewed as positive for the industry.
This growth of 5% for the full year occurs despite the company seeing a 3% decline in sales for the fourth quarter of 2019.
For the fourth quarter sales dropped to SEK 19.7 billion (US$2.0 billion) at an operating margin of 9.8%. Despite this decline in sales, demand in Europe was strong in the fourth quarter, helped by continued growth in Germany, Italy, France and Russia.
For the full year net sales increased by 5% to SEK 88.6 billion (US$9.1 billion). Compared to the full year sales figures for 2018, Europe, North and South America, and Asia all saw growth. The only region to see a decline in sales was Africa and Oceania.
North America was also up by 6% over the same period in 2018, helped by greater demand for larger equipment, while South America saw a gain of 17%, driven mostly from growth in Brazil.
Excluding China, Asian markets were down by 11% compared to last year. The Chinese market itself continued to grow, and was up 8%, with increased demand for both excavators and wheeled loaders.
“2019 was another year of good performance on several levels,” said Melker Jernberg, President of Volvo CE.
“We gained market share in the larger equipment category in North America and in Europe saw good developments in sales, operating income and cash flow. Asia has had its challenges, but in China we see encouraging market share growth in large excavators and wheel loaders.”
Volvo CE will start taking orders for electric compact wheeled loaders and compact excavators in February 2020 having previously announced that they will stop production of diesel versions of these products. Serial production is planned for the third quarter of 2020.