VW records strong profits

Volkswagen, the biggest European carmaker, reported Friday a strong operating profit of €4.8 billion for the first nine months of 2010 and said its full-year figure would show gains as well.

VW records strong profits
Photo: DPA

The nine-month figure was more than three times higher than the €1.5 billion posted in the same period of 2009.

Sales rose to €92.5 billion, a gain of 19.9 percent, a statement said, before adding that the group did not expect growth to be as strong in the fourth quarter of the year.

VW said full-year sales and operating profit were nonetheless expected to mark significant gains owing to strong demand, especially in China.

But the fourth quarter would see more muted growth, a situation that VW executives have already mentioned.

Pre-tax profit for the nine-month period leapt to €5.44 billion, a huge gain from the 2009 figure of €1.07 billion.

Pre-tax profit was boosted by €863 million in contributions from investments that included joint ventures in the robust Chinese auto market and options linked to the takeover of the luxury sports car maker Porsche, VW said.

Volkswagen and its nine other brands delivered 5.4 million vehicles in the period from January through September, an annualised gain of 12.9 percent.

That gave the German group a market share of 11.6 percent, a slight gain on the year, it said.

After suffering from a slump in global sales amid the economic downturn last year, VW was well positioned to rebound owing to its strong presence worldwide.

“China, Western Europe, North America and Latin America remain sources of growth in demand,” the statement said.

Shares in VW jumped by 2.40 percent to €96.03 in late trading on the Frankfurt stock exchange, while the DAX index of blue-chip stocks was essentially unchanged overall.

VW is to release detailed results on Wednesday.


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Two hospitalized in Munich after activist crashes parachute into Euro 2020 stadium

At least two people were hospitalised Tuesday after a Greenpeace activist crash-landed on the pitch before the Germany-France match at Euro 2020 when his powered parachute microlight struck spidercam cables at Munich's Allianz Arena.

Two hospitalized in Munich after activist crashes parachute into Euro 2020 stadium
The activist lands on the turf of the Allianz Arena. credit: dpa | Christian Charisius

The pilot flew over the pitch just before kick-off in the Group F clash with “Kick out oil” written on the canopy of his parachute.

However, when the pilot hit television cables above the pitch, it knocked his microlight off balance and he landed on the turf after clipping one of the stands, where the casualties happened.

The activist was arrested soon after landing.

A Munich police spokesman told AFP that at least two people suffered head injuries and “both had to be taken to hospital, we don’t know yet how serious the injuries are”.

The police spokesman said the activist appears to have escaped injury, but “we are considering various criminal charges. Munich police has zero understanding for political actions that put lives at risk”.

UEFA also slammed the botched stunt.

“This inconsiderate act – which could have had very serious consequences for a huge number of people attending – caused injuries to several people attending the game who are now in hospital and law authorities will take the necessary action,” European football’s governing body said in a statement.

The parachutist above the stadium. Photo: dpa | Matthias Balk

“The staging of the match was fortunately not impacted by such a reckless and dangerous action, but several people were injured nonetheless.”

The stunt was a protest against German car manufacturer Volkswagen, one of the sponsors of the European Championship, Greenpeace explained in a Twitter post.

“UEFA and its partners are fully committed to a sustainable Euro 2020 tournament and many initiatives have been implemented to offset carbon emissions,” said UEFA.

Greenpeace said they regretted any harm caused.

“This protest was never intended to disrupt the game or hurt people,” read a Twitter post on Greenpeace’s official German account.

“We hope that everyone is OK and that no one was seriously injured. Greenpeace actions are always peaceful and non-violent.”

“Unfortunately, not everything went according to plan.”

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