Volkswagen Group generates operating profit in first quarter

author image Rishi
Friday 24 April 2009, 00:00 AM

Wolfsburg, April 22, 2009 – Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft generated an operating profit and increased its liquidity in the first quarter of fiscal year 2009. The group’s operating profit amounted to €312 million (€1,311 million). The sale of the Brazilian commercial vehicles business contributed around €600 million to this. Automotive net liquidity rose to €10.7 billion (€8.0 billion) compared with the end of 2008. “The Volkswagen Group, too, is not immune to the dramatic deterioration in the global business environment,” explained the Chairman of the Board of Management, Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn, on Wednesday. The Group’s unit sales declined by approximately 16 percent in the first three months, production has been cut by around a quarter and inventories reduced significantly as a result, he continued. “The strengths of our multibrand Group prove themselves especially in difficult times: we have increased our global market share thanks to our young and environmentally friendly model range, and are in a sound financial position,” stressed Winterkorn. “Our goal for fiscal year 2009 remains to outperform the market as a whole and to gain additional market share.â€

Volkswagen today published its key figures for the first quarter in an ad hoc disclosure.

Interim Report January-March 2009:

- Global financial and economic crisis also significantly impacts Volkswagen’s business

- Volkswagen Group generates operating profit of EUR 312 million (EUR 1,311 million) in the period from January to March 2009

- Sale of Brazilian commercial vehicles business contributes around EUR 600 million to operating profit

- Profit before tax considerably lower at EUR 52 million (EUR 1,366 million)

- Group sales revenue 11.2 percent below the prior-year figure at EUR 24.0 billion (excluding Scania: 17.1 percent below previous year)

- Automotive Division’s ratio of investments in property, plant and equipment (capex) to sales revenue at 5.5 percent (3.9 percent)

- Positive net cash flow in the Automotive Division of EUR 2,553 million (EUR 867 million)

- At EUR 10.7 billion, Automotive Division net liquidity up on year-end 2008 (EUR 8.0 billion)

- New model initiative successfully driven forward under difficult conditions:

- Deliveries to customers worldwide down 10.7 percent year-on-year to 1.4 million vehicles

- Global passenger car market 20.7 percent below the previous year

- Volkswagen Group increases its market share in key regions of the world

- Deliveries in Germany, China, Brazil, Russia and Poland higher than in prior-year quarter

- New Polo impresses both the trade press and customers at its world premiere

- Debut of the Audi A4 allroad quattro, the Audi A5 Cabriolet an the Audi TT RS.

SEAT enters B segment with the new Exeo

- Škoda presents the Yeti – its first SUV

- Volkswagen Group’s product range now comprises more than 130 vehicles that emit less than 140g/km CO2

Outlook

With its nine brands and young model range, the Volkswagen Group is well positioned. In 2009, the individual brands will again introduce numerous new and low-consumption models that will further extend the Group’s product portfolio and cover new market segments. For this reason, although we assume that the Volkswagen Group will be unable to escape the downward trend, we believe that it will perform better than the market as a whole and will be able to gain additional market share during the crisis.

The Group’s sales revenue in 2009 will be lower than in the previous year because of the decline in volume sales. Rising refinancing costs and a worsening of the country mix will serve as an additional drag on earnings. Volkswagen will counter this trend in particular through disciplined cost and investment management and the continuous optimization of its processes. Ecological relevance and the return on our vehicle projects are the core elements of the “18 plus” strategy.

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