Thursday 25 April 2019 1:15 pm

Trade tariffs and waning demand slam the brakes on Volvo quarterly profit

Volvo parent company Geely’s shares fell today after the Swedish car maker announced profit fell nearly a fifth in the first three months of the year.

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The manufacturer said pricing pressure and higher tariffs stemming from the trade war between the US and China were behind the fall.

Quarterly profit fell 19.3 per cent, the company said this morning, down to 2.92bn Swedish crowns (£239.9m) between January and March.

Meanwhile operating margin fell to 4.6 per cent from 6.4 per cent a year ago, and the firm repeated an earlier warning that it expects market conditions to pressurise margins for the remainder of 2019.

Volvo has seen a turnaround in fortunes in recent years, after a buyout by Geely in 2010, but the Swedish car manufacturer has come under threat along with the rest of the sector, amid trade conflict, waning demand in its key Chinese market and huge research outlays to develop electric and driverless cars.

“Compared with last year, profitability was affected by higher tariffs and increased price pressure in many markets,” said chief executive Hakan Samuelsson.

Geely shares fell 4.9 per cent today.

Read more: Volvo recalls over 150,000 cars

Last month, Geely forecast flat sales in 2019 due to uncertainty over demand in China, the world’s biggest car market.