Truck and bus maker Volvo reportedly said on Tuesday that its third-quarter net profit rose to 2.94 billion kronor ($US369.5 million) from 1.17 billion kronor in the same period a year earlier.

The Associated Press said Volvo, which sold its car division to Ford in 1999, said it assesses that the total market for heavy trucks in Europe and North America during 2005 will be somewhat higher than previous estimates.

The company reportedly said it expects the European market will grow about 5% compared with the earlier forecast of a 0-5% growth. Volvo said the North American market is expected to grow by about 25% during 2005. The prior forecast was for growth of about 20%. In 2006, Volvo said its best estimate is that the total market in both North America and Europe will be on the same level as 2005.

The Associated Press said the Goteborg-based group, whose truck brands include Mack Trucks and Renault, said net sales increased by 12% to 34.9 billion kronor ($4.38 billion), from 31.3 billion kronor. Adjusted for currency movements, net sales rose 8%.

The increased income was the result of higher volumes and better margins, it said, according to the report.