Truckmaker MAN confirms outlook despite rough quarter

MAN, the trucks arm of German auto giant Volkswagen, said on Thursday it would stick to its 2012 forecast despite a tough first quarter when sales rose slightly but profits slumped.

MAN, which had already warned in April that fierce competition cut profits in the first three months of the current year despite higher turnover, said it still expected a small decline in sales for the year.

Turnover in the first quarter climbed three percent to about 3.8 billion euros ($5.0 billion) but MAN's operational profit plummeted 22 percent to 253 million euros.

Net profit was also plunged, to 129 million euros from 565 million during the same period in 2011.

Weak business in the company's commercial vehicles business weighed heavily on the results owing to stiff competition in key markets and a weaker economy.

New orders were little changed at 4.4 billion euros, MAN said, on the back of slight stronger demand from abroad but a 13-percent drop in its home market.

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