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MORE COMPETITION, EXCHANGE-RATE FLUCTUATIONS ARE BLAMED FOR PRETAX PROFIT DECLINE AT SAAB

SHARE MORE COMPETITION, EXCHANGE-RATE FLUCTUATIONS ARE BLAMED FOR PRETAX PROFIT DECLINE AT SAAB

Saab Automobile AB said Thursday its second-quarter pretax profit declined 59 percent, the result of increased competition and unfavorable fluctuations in foreign exchange rates.

The Swedish automaker posted pretax profit of 84 million kronor, or about $11.5 million, for the second quarter, down from 203 million kronor in the year-ago quarter.The decline in profit came despite higher sales, which rose 19 percent to 5.66 billion kronor, or $775.4 million, compared with 4.76 billion kronor a year earlier.

For the first six months of the year, Saab had pretax profit of 195 million kronor, compared with 140 million kronor a year earlier. Sales totaled 11 billion kronor for the first six months, up from 8.75 billion kronor last year.

Saab sold 52,400 autos during the first six months of the year, up from 45,200 in the year-ago period.

Saab Automobile is a joint venture between General Motors Corp. and Swedish investment company AB Investor.