May 3, 2007 4:45 PM, EDT

MAN’s Income Improves

Company May Still Seeking Merger With Scania, VW

German truck maker MAN reiterated its interest in a three-way association with Volkswagen and Swedish rival Scania, and boosted its 2007 forecast after a better-than-expected first quarter, Agence France Press reported Thursday.

The company’s net income rose 48% to 228 million euros ($310 million) and operating profit rose 51% to 318 million euros ($432 million). Sales rose 15% to 3.3 billion euros ($4.5 billion).
MAN noted strong demand for trucks, its core business, with turnover in that sector rising 18% to 2.2 billion euros ($3 billion), AFP said.

MAN said it was expecting a 10% revenue increase in 2007 following a strong first quarter, boosting its previous 5% forecast.

MAN Chief Executive Officer Hakan Samuelsson said he hoped a deal could be struck by the end of the year for a merger that would created Europe’s biggest truck maker, AFP reported.

Volkswagen recently became the biggest shareholder in MAN, with a 29.9% share, and also holds a 34% stake in Scania.

Discussions among the three ended in January after MAN withdrew a hostile 10.3 billion euro ($14 billion) bid for Scania in January.