Truck manufacturer Volvo’s profit fell by a smaller amount than expected in Q1 2024, as demand returns to more normal levels across a number of markets, following a strong 2023.

Adjusted operating profit was 18.2bn SEK (£1.33bn) compared to 18.6bn SEK the year before .

The news follows Volvo’s forecast in January this year that fewer trucks would be registered in 2024, with a particular downturn in Europe. This amounts to sales of 280,000 and 290,000 respectively.

Announcing the results this week, Martin Lundstedt, Volvo chief executive, said: ”In Q1, we delivered 55,470 trucks, which was 10% fewer than in the year before and net order intake declined by 19% to 48,701 trucks.

”In Europe, order backlogs and lead times have normalised. Through the quarter we gradually reduced production capacity in Europe and anticipate to be in balance during Q2.”

He concluded: ”The continued strengthening of our customersʼ competitiveness and the Volvo Groupʼs performance remain our core priorities.

”We are committed to driving the day-to-day performance of our business and the transformation of our industries towards safer and more sustainable solutions.

”Keys to maintaining good profitability over the business cycle are a strong focus on our service business, volume flexibility in the industrial system and tight cost control across the organization.

”At the same time, we will continue to drive R&D investments in the new technologies and services that are transforming our industries.

Handelsbank analyst Hampus Engellau said that while Volvo’s underlying operational performance was better than expected, the first quarter results were “very plain vanilla”. He forecast a continued slowdown in earnings throughout the year.