Specialty truck maker Oshkosh Truck Corp. said its net income went up 26.5% to $30.6 million on 11.5% higher sales of $599.8 million in its third quarter. The company is raising its earnings estimate for the full year to between $2.90 and $3.00 per share.

Chairman, president & CEO Robert Bohn said strong defense segment results, including a cumulative catch-up adjustment to increase margins on the company's multi-year Medium Tactical Vehicle Replacement (MTVR) contract with the U.S. Marine Corps and increased heavy-payload truck and parts sales more than offset losses in its European refuse business.

“We are not counting on improvement in European market conditions in the short-term and have initiated significant measures to improve Geesink Norba Group's performance,” Bohn said, referring to Oshkosh’s European subsidiary. “That includes work force reductions and introducing a new line of value-priced refuse bodies.”

He added that while European sales declined and North American fire and rescue truck sales dropped 3.9% in the third quarter, defense sales rose 6.9% and commercial truck and part sales increased 27.4%.

Because he expects those positive sales trends to grow stronger, Bohn said Oshkosh is raising its fiscal 2005 earnings projections 10% to $3.30 per share.