MAN is handing its shareholders a much higher than expected dividend totalling 84 million euros. The German lorry maker also confirmed it was seeking closer ties with Swedish rival Scania.
But that is unlikely to satisfy Volkswagen which owns 30 percent of MAN. VW is keen to create Europe’s biggest truckmaker by merging MAN with Scania, in which it has a controlling stake.
The carmaker’s matchmaking attempts have so far failed, and relations have been strained between the two rivals since a failed hostile takeover of Scania by MAN early in 2007.
Analysts said MAN made up for a set of disappointing results with stronger than anticipated new orders, a bullish outlook on profits and by hiking its dividend to two euros per share, well above a median estimate of 1.40 euros.
“Following a good first few months, we expect revenue growth of between seven and 10 percent,” finance chief Frank Lutz said.
The truckmaker’s fourth quarter operating profit more than doubled to 307 million euros. Annual net profit of 722 million euros was well below expectations.