Geely's Volvo Cars reported record second half profit and sales volume in 2020, illustrating, it said, "the company's success in mitigating and recovering from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic earlier in the year".
The company reported revenue of SEK151bn SEK and an operating profit of SEK9.5bn for the second half of 2020. Profit increased 8.2% during the period, while revenues were up by 4.9%. Profit margin was 6.3%.
Volvo sold 391,751 cars in the second six months of 2020, an increase of 7.4% year on year, taking market share in most markets.
For full year 2020, revenue was SEK263bn and operating profit SEK8.5bn. The automaker said it managed to reduce fixed costs in combination with growth, which had a positive influence on cash flow and liquidity.
"We acted decisively to limit the impact of the pandemic," said Hakan Samuelsson, chief executive. "After a safe restart of our operations, we recovered strongly and reported the best second half in the company's history."
The share of Recharge cars of total sales more than doubled in 2020. In Europe, sales of plug-in hybrids accounted for 30% of total volume, and Volvo is claiming to be the leading plug-in premium brand measured as a share of its total sales volume.
In China and the United States, its two largest individual markets, the company reported growing sales for the full year as it managed to recover a pandemic-related sales drop in the first half during the second half of the year. In Europe it reported a small second-half decline due to a sluggish overall market.
During 2020, Volvo also saw an accelerated move towards online sales as a result of the pandemic, a development that the company expects to continue in 2021. In 2020, It more than doubled its number of subscriptions sold online versus 2019. Conquest rates via this channel continued to be high, supporting the increases in market share.
For 2021, the company anticipates continued growth in sales volume and revenue, due to a strong product offering and further increases in online sales. Assuming market conditions continue to normalize, this growth, as well as continued cost management is anticipated to improve profitability to pre-corona levels.
With ongoing investments in new technologies and new products, the company foresees a similar level of capital expenditure as in 2020. Cash flow is expected to remain strong. It also expects a continued reduction in its overall CO2 emissions per car, in line with the company's ambition to reduce these by 40% by 2025.