VW profits race ahead

VW profits race ahead
Photo: DPA
Volkswagen, the biggest European automaker, said on Wednesday that its third-quarter net profit leapt more than 10-fold to €2.2 billion ($3.0 billion) on strong demand and strict cost controls.

Despite the gain, VW did not raise its full-year outlook however, even though the targets are considered prudent by many analysts.

“Increased demand for our group models and our disciplined cost management led to these strong results, which have strengthened our sound financial base,” a statement quoted VW finance director Hans Dieter Poetsch as saying.

After reporting nine-month results on Friday, VW said that third-quarter sales jumped by 18.4 percent to €30.7 billion, and operating profit climbed to €1.985 billion from €278 million in the third quarter of 2009.

That period marked the low point in the recent global auto sector crisis.

Looking ahead, VW warned the sharp rebound would ease, saying that growth seen “in the first nine months of 2010 will not continue as strongly in the fourth quarter.”

“Nevertheless, we believe that sales revenue and operating profit in the current year will continue to perform positively,” Poetsch said.

VW maintained its full-year targets, rather than raising them as many analysts had expected.

VW and its nine brands that include Audi, Bentley, Seat and Skoda, still expect to surpass last year’s unit sales of 6.3 million vehicles and operating profit of €1.9 billion.

The group sold 5.4 million vehicles in the first nine months of this year, and its operating profit since January stands at €4.8 billion.

VW chairman Martin Winterkorn was quoted as saying that “the Volkswagen Group continues to have its sights firmly set on capturing pole position in the automotive industry.”

VW wants to overtake Toyota as the world’s biggest automaker by 2018. Shares in the company showed a loss of 0.14 percent to €104.5 in morning trading on the Frankfurt stock exchange meanwhile, while the DAX index of leading stocks was 0.33 percent lower overall.


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