Europe’s third-largest commercial-vehicle maker .. MAN has announced fourth-quarter profit was up by 22% and it had a record year in 2006. Sales during that period were up by 13% helped by a surge in purchases from eastern Europe.After dropping a hostile takeover bid for Scania, due to opposition from the Swedish firm’s top shareholders Investor AB and Volkswagen, MAN said that although Scania is its “preferred partner” it is not in a “big hurry” to strike any deal.
A merger would create Europe’s biggest truckmaker, leapfrogging DaimlerChrysler and Volvo.
M A N’s chief financial officer Karlheinz Hornung said that in the next few months they will get together to discuss a friendly conclusion to realise what he called the industrial logic involved.
M A N follows Scania and Volvo, which in the last two weeks have both reported gains in fourth-quarter profit also thanks to higher sales in eastern Europe.