Pandemic resilience: What’s the current financial state of Volvo Cars?

Volvo Cars saw its sales rebound in the first half of the year to pre-pandemic levels. But there are other threats on the horizon that may stall growth.

Pandemic resilience: What's the current financial state of Volvo Cars?
Volvo Cars' factory at Torslanda, Sweden. Photo: Adam Ihse/TT

The upscale Swedish brand, owned by China’s Geely, saw sales rebound 26.3 percent from the pandemic-affected period last year to reach 141 billion kronor ($16 billion).

In terms of volume, the carmaker sold 380,757 vehicles, a 29 percent jump.

That also beat the 340,826 vehicles sold in the first half of 2019.

After suffering a loss during the first half of the year, the company returned to profit with net earnings of 8.2 billion kronor.

Thanks to a strong second half of last year, Volvo proved resilient through the coronavirus crisis.

It limited its annual downturn in sales to just six percent globally, helped by strong markets in China and North America which offset a sharp slowdown in Europe.

But that means it won’t benefit from a weak comparison level going forward and faces the same scarcity of semiconductors essential for electronics systems as other carmakers.

“Unless supply of semiconductors improves, we expect flat sales and revenue growth for the second half year compared with the same period last year, despite strong customer demand,” Volvo said in a statement.

Volvo made no update on its reflection about conducting an initial public offering of shares on the Stockholm stock exchange. The carmaker unveiled that possibility in May, several months after plans to merge with Geely were quashed.

Earlier this week Volvo announced an agreement with Geely to take full control of its car manufacturing plants and sales operations in China as legal changes there make that possible.

The announcement was seen by analysts as a step to boost the attractiveness of Volvo in the event an IPO moves forward.

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