Volkswagen, the biggest European carmaker, said on Feb. 26 that its 2009 profit had plunged by nearly 80% but that it expected operating profit and sales to rebound this year.
VW posted a 79.8% drop in net profit to 960 million euros (US$1.3 billion), on sales that fell by 7.6% to 105.2 billion euros.
"Revenue and operating profit for 2010 are expected to exceed the prior-year figures" despite changes in volumes between major markets, the company said following a supervisory board meeting. "Interest and exchange rate volatility will remain a drag on profit."
Although VW sales collapsed last year, the group had benefited from auto scrapping schemes that favored smaller cars and from its strong presence in China, which is now its biggest market.
Operating profit stood at 1.9 billion euros in 2009, which represented a drop of 70.7% and missed a forecast of 2.07 billion euros.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2010