BERLIN -- Volkswagen (IW 1000/7), Europe's biggest carmaker, posted a solid and better-than-expected first-quarter result on Tuesday and maintained its forecasts for the year.
The automaker said that net profit attributable to shareholders came to nearly 2.4 billion euros (US$3.3 billion) in the January-to-March period, a rise of 18% year-on-year.
Analysts polled by Dow Jones Newswires had forecast a slightly lower increase to 2.3 billion euros.
Sales and operating result at the car giant, whose models include Audi, Bentley and Seat, also beat forecasts.
"The Volkswagen group has made a good start to fiscal year 2014 in a market environment that remains difficult," it said.
The group said car sales across the board increased, with 2.4 million vehicles delivered to customers in the first three months of the year.
"Depending on economic conditions, Volkswagen is expecting 2014 sales revenue for the group and its business areas to move within a range of three percent around the prior-year figure," it said.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2014