Audi Annual Press Conference: Following record deliveries in 2013 further growth for 2014

Audi today presents all its key figures for the 2013 fiscal year at the Annual Press Conference, taking place at its headquarters in Ingolstadt. The Board of Management of AUDI AG also gives its outlook for 2014. In front of more than 300 international journalists, Audi boss Rupert Stadler will declare: “2013 was an extraordinary year and we also remain on course for success in 2014. The past twelve months have seen us embark on a huge globalization drive in opening new plants in Hungary and China, as well as preparing for local production operations in Mexico and Brazil. The new A3 family* is proving very popular with our customers, as are our SUV models in the Q car line.” The Company successfully maintained its product initiative. Having launched 15 new models and derivative versions in 2013, the brand with the four rings will be launching 17 new cars in 2014 alone.

Last year, Audi achieved a strong set of figures despite the overall decline in car sales in Europe: For example, the Company delivered 1,575,480 (2012: 1,455,123) cars of the Audi brand to customers worldwide – a year-on-year increase of 8.3 percent. 2013 saw the Audi Group increase its revenue to € 49.880 (2012: 48.771) billion. This represented a further increase of 2.3 percent on the previous year’s high level, despite negative exchange effects.

In view of increasing research and development costs for new products and technologies, intensive advance payments for systematically expanding the international production network and also the challenging market environment, above all in Europe, the operating profit was below the previous year’s high level, at € 5.030 (2012: 5.365) billion. The operating return on sales of 10.1 (2012: 11.0) percent was just above the strategic target corridor of eight to ten percent.

Distribution costs for the Audi Group merely edged up to € 4.641 (2012: 4.594) billion in fiscal 2013. The financial result for the past fiscal year of € 293 (2012: 586) million was down on the previous year’s level. The Audi Group thus achieved a profit before tax of € 5.323 (2012: 5.951) billion for fiscal year 2013.

In his speech, Axel Strotbek, Member of the Board of Management for Finance and Organization at AUDI AG, spotlights the Company’s high profitability: “With 10.1 percent operating return on sales we exceeded our strategic corridor once more.” Besides the aforementioned operating return on sales, the Audi Group achieved a return on sales before tax of 10.7 (2012: 12.2) percent in the 2013 fiscal year.

The past fiscal year saw the Company invest ten percent more than in the year before that – in all, more than € 3.5 billion. Until 2018 the Audi Group is planning total capital investments amounting to some € 22 billion. The focus is on new innovations and technologies. The Company’s goal remains to finance all investment spending from operating cash flow, which in 2013 reached € 3.2 billion disregarding changes in participations, despite the record capital investments – that is a substantial increase on the prior-year € 2.9 billion.

The year-end position saw the Audi Group having increased its net liquidity to € 14.716 (2012: 13.396) billion. The Company’s equity ratio at the balance sheet date was 41.1 (2012: 37.4) percent.

The high capital investments of recent years are already beginning to bear fruit. One week ago, Audi presented the new Audi TT* to the world’s public at the Geneva Motor Show. Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg, Member of the Board of Management for Technical Development at AUDI AG, describes the latest Audi in the following terms: “The third generation of the Audi TT encapsulates everything that Audi is about. Impressive sportiness, sophisticated design and pioneering efficiency.” In respect of the Company’s strategy, the development chief says: “Our goal is holistic carbon-neutral mobility based on emotional, performance-oriented models.” This explains Audi’s desire to extend its technical lead in all efficiency disciplines. In this connection, Hackenberg mentions the new A3 family*, which will be launched on the market this year with highly efficient ultra, e-tron and g-tron models. And another chapter is set to be added to the success story of the highly supercharged direct-injection engines. Audi is developing its TDI engines into sporty, high-performance power units without compromising their efficiency and low-emission credentials in any way. Meanwhile Audi has raised the power output per liter of its TFSI engines to 210 hp (155 kW). “Such figures would have been worthy of a Le Mans victory as recently as a couple of years ago,” added Ulrich Hackenberg. In his address, the development chief also praised the more than 10,000 engineers worldwide who will continue to maintain the Company’s Vorsprung durch Technik in the future.

Only with a strong team can the Company achieve its goals. The Audi Board of Management is consequently using the Annual Press Conference as an opportunity to thank all employees for their huge commitment. AUDI AG will again be sharing the success of the past fiscal year with its employees: Pay-scale employees at the German locations will receive a profit share averaging € 6,900. The Company moreover continues to recruit more people: In Germany alone, this year the brand with the four rings will be taking on 1,500 new employees and offering apprenticeships to 750 young people. 1,000 new employees will also be hired in Mexico in the course of the year.

The Audi Group aims to grow in every region of the world in 2014, including Europe. Depending on the wider economic environment, the brand with the four rings expects a slight increase in revenue to more than € 50 billion in fiscal 2014.

The systematic expansion of its international manufacturing structures and the rising advance payments needed for new models and technologies – in particular to comply with tougher CO2 regulations worldwide – will initially have a negative impact on profit in the current fiscal year. At the same time, the positive trend in deliveries and revenue as well as ongoing productivity and process improvements already implemented will impact our operating profit positively. Overall, the Ingolstadt carmaker expects the operating return on sales to lie within its strategic target corridor of eight to ten percent.

Fuel consumption of the models named above:

Audi A3:
Combined fuel consumption in l/100 km: 7 – 3.2;
Combined CO2-emissions in g/km: 162 – 85

Audi TT:
This car is not yet on sale. It has not yet been homologated and is therefore not subject to the 1999/94/EG guideline.
Provisional data:
Combined fuel consumption in l/100 km: 7.1 – 4.2;
Combined CO2-emissions in g/km: 164 – 110