Volvo says its earnings increased almost fourfold last year after it sold its car division to Ford and focused on trucks and buses.

The company reported 1999 net income of $3.74 billion on sales of $14.5 billion versus net income of $976 million on sales of $24.76 billion in 1998. Excluding 1998 car sales, worldwide revenues rose 9% in 1999.
Operating profits for its truck division were up 28%. U.S. truck deliveries were up 17% although a capacity shortage held it's market share here to 10.7%, down from 11.5% last year. Volvo expects a slowdown in U.S. heavy truck demand this year but an increase in the Asian and South American markets.
The company is currently awaiting the go ahead from the European Union regarding its acquisition of Scania. "The objective is to create a larger and stronger industrial base from which we will develop and broaden the line of product we are offering customers," said Volvo chief executive Leif Johansson. "The acquisition of Scania will yield savings over the short term."