Volvo Cars expects sales to rise by 10% this year on the back of strong growth in China and improving conditions in Europe. Earlier this year the company had forecast sales growing by 5%.

Håkan Samuelsson, president and chief executive of Volvo Cars, owned by China's Geely, said that sales for the first half of the year were up 9.5% to 229,013 units. Operating earnings in the first half were SEK1.21bn (US$176.5m) reversing a SFK577m loss in the same period last year. Revenues rose 15% to SFK64.8bn.

Sales in China, now the company's biggest market, rose 34.4% helped by demand for the locally-built long wheelbase versions of the S60 and S80, he said.

"The European market is also showing signs of recovery and growth and we are well placed to benefit further. We are committed to the US, where a new management team is implementing a revival plan to improve our performance," said Samuelsson.

Sales for the first half of the year in Sweden rose by 20.2% and in the rest of western Europe by 8.7%.

See also: SWEDEN: Volvo Cars hails new engineering architecture that debuts on XC90