Volkswagen Beetle

Volkswagen Reaffirms Full-Year Targets After Strong Third Quarter

Volkswagen AG, Europe's biggest carmaker, reaffirmed its full-year targets despite the strong headwinds it currently faces.

Volkswagen AG (IW 1000/10), Europe's biggest carmaker, on Wednesday reaffirmed its full-year targets despite the strong headwinds it currently faces.

"Although the times aren't easy ... we remain committed to our ambitious goals for 2012, despite growing headwinds," Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn said.

VW said it is sticking to its goal to beat the prior-year sales revenue of 159.3 billion euros ($207 billion) and match 2011 operating profit of 11.3 billion euros, Winterkorn said.

"The Volkswagen Group maintained its positive trajectory in the first nine months of 2012 despite difficult conditions," Winterkorn said.

In the first nine months, net profit was up 50.8% to 20.1 billion euros and sales rose by 24% to 144.226 billion euros. However, operating profit slipped by 1.6% to 8.8 billion euros.

Vehicle sales rose by 12.5% to approximately 7 million units.

Sales of the VW brand alone were up 9.7% to 3.6 million vehicles, while the luxury Audi brand saw sales reach 1 million units.

The Czech arm Skoda lifted sales by 7.9% to 551,000 vehicles, and the Spanish division SEAT booked an increase of 18.3% to 315,000 vehicles.

In the third quarter alone, net profit amounted to 11.3 billion euros in the period from July to September, an increase of 60.4% over the year-earlier figure, as sales powered ahead by 26.8% to 48.8 billion euros.

Underlying or operating profit, on the other hand, fell by 19% to 2.3 billion euros in the third quarter.

CFO Hans Dieter Poetsch said he is satisfied with the automaker's results in light of the uncertain economic environment.

"We have always said that the second half of the year would be more difficult, so our performance is in line with expectations," he said. "We have achieved a robust result."

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2012

TAGS: Finance
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