UPDATE 2-Volvo readies for U.S. slowdown as Q4 profit just lags
* Q4 core profit SEK 4.57 bln vs forecast 4.72 bln
* Q4 truck orders -20 pct y/y vs forecast -16 pct
* Cuts North American truck market outlook, ups Europe
* Says to lower production in N. America, Brazil in Q1 (Adds news conference, detail, background, share)
By Niklas Pollard and Johannes Hellstrom
STOCKHOLM, Feb 5 (Reuters) - Swedish truck maker Volvo forecast a steeper than expected slowdown in the North American heavy-duty truck market this year and said it would cut production there after posting a slightly smaller than predicted rise in fourth-quarter earnings.
Volvo, a rival of German Daimler and Volkswagen's truck brands, is contending with falling demand for commercial vehicles in the United States and Brazil and a plunge in purchases of its construction equipment in China.
While European truck sales are growing, the group's ability to parry downturns elsewhere is a test for the leaner and meaner company Volvo has sought to create through years of cost cuts, targeted to reach 10 billion crowns ($1.17 billion) this year.
Sweden's biggest company by revenues said adjusted operating profit rose to 4.57 billion crowns ($543.76 million) from 3.02 billion a year ago, just lagging a mean forecast of 4.72 billion in Reuters poll of analysts. Continuación...