World number two truck maker Volvo swung to a much bigger-than-expected first quarter profit on Friday and stood by its forecast of a gradual recovery in its main markets this year.

Fortified by sweeping cost cuts and a timid rise in demand, the company posted operating earnings of 2.8 billion crowns ($389 million) versus a loss of 4.5 billion a year ago and a profit of 335 million seen in a Reuters poll of analysts.