STOCKHOLM -- Sweden's Scania, Europe's third biggest truck maker, posted a second-quarter profit gain on Monday but repeated it saw constraints to production capacity in the second half, helping drive down its shares.
Surging demand pushed pre-tax profit to 1.41 billion Swedish crowns ($186.3 million), the level forecast by 13 analysts in a Reuters poll, from 1.3 billion in the year-ago quarter.
Like larger Swedish rival Volvo, the company has benefited from a strong upturn in the global economy and a strong rise in sales in Europe -- Scania's main market.
Sales came in at 14.1 billion crowns, in line with expectations and against 12.8 billion crowns a year earlier. Truck orders in western Europe rose 21 percent during the first half of the year, Scania said.
But Scania, which revised up its outlook for Europe in late April, said its introduction of new models would mean "a continued limitation in delivery capacity during the rest of 2004".
Last week Volvo, the world's second largest truck maker, trounced profit and sales forecasts for the second quarter in a row -- boosting shares across the sector and setting a tough target for rivals such as Scania.
Volvo raised its estimate for European truck sales this year to 250,000 trucks from around 230,000.
Analysts say the revival in truck demand in the European market has been a big surprise. Most had expected slight growth this year, but now many say growth will be 8-9 percent.
Outside of Europe, Scania said both deliveries and orders rose. Truck orders were up 34 percent in central and eastern Europe in the first six months of the year, 36 percent in Asia and nearly 90 percent in Latin America.