MAN has said it has been able to report an improvement in earnings in the second quarter of this year, largely because its trucks division reached breakeven.

MAN said in a statement it booked net profit of 45 million euros in the period from April to June. Although the figure is 2% down on the same quarter last year, the company pointed out that it marks an improvement over Q1’s group net loss pf 43 million euros.

Pre-tax profit amounted to 78 million euros in the April-June period, compared with a loss of 75 million euros in the first quarter – an increase of 22% over the same period last year.

“The driving force behind the improvement in earnings compared with the first quarter was the trucks division which returned to breakeven in the second quarter after sustaining a loss in the first quarter,” MAN explained in a statement.

New orders for the commercial vehicle division were 1.7 billion euros in the second quarter, the highest figure for the last four quarters (but 5% down on Q2 2001, on a comparable basis).

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MAN trucks generated a second quarter EBIT of 50 million euros, versus a loss of 8 million euros in the first quarter.

MAN said that in its truck division, ‘measures implemented as part of the turnaround programme are producing better results than expected, leading to higher productivity and lower product and overhead costs’.

However, bus operations at both MAN and NEOPLAN ‘continue to be adversely affected by poor quality revenue, inadequate cost structures and underutilised capacity’. MAN is planning measures aimed at ‘further amalgamation of MAN’s bus-related structures with NEOPLAN, while still retaining the two-brand strategy’.