Volkswagen strengthens position in global markets in first quarter

The Volkswagen Group further strengthened its position in the global markets in the first three months of fiscal year 2013, despite the challenging conditions and intense competition. Including China, deliveries increased by 4.8 percent to 2.3 million vehicles worldwide. The Group’s share of the global passenger car market rose year-on-year to 12.6 percent (12.2 percent). “We made a healthy start to the year, but the coming months will be anything but easy. The current environment is definitely a tough challenge for the entire industry”, said Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn, Chairman of the Board of Management of Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft, in Wolfsburg on Monday. “The Volkswagen Group’s strong, broad positioning is our greatest strength. And this is paying off, particularly when times are difficult”, stressed Winterkorn.

Sales revenue in the first three months amounted to €46.6 billion (€47.3 billion). Operating profit was down on the high prior-year level at €2.3 billion (€3.2 billion). The consolidated operating profit does not include the €1.2 billion (€848 million) share of the operating profit of the Chinese joint ventures. These companies are included using the equity method and are therefore reflected in the financial result. Profit before tax amounted to €2.7 billion (€4.2 billion). The prior-year figure had been positively influenced by the remeasurement of the Porsche options. Profit after tax was €1.9 billion (€3.1 billion).

CFO Hans Dieter Pötsch was guardedly confident. “The Volkswagen Group has an attractive product range. It is present in all major regions of the world, it is extremely innovative and it has the necessary financial solidity and strength. Nevertheless, given the uncertainty of the current economic environment, we will continue to strive for a high degree of flexibility and stick to our disciplined cost and investment management in order to reach our goals.”

Net liquidity in the Automotive Division remains high

At €10.6 billion, net liquidity in the Automotive Division at the end of March was virtually unchanged as against December 2012. Investments in property, plant and equipment in the Automotive Division remained stable at €1.7 billion (€1.7 billion). The Volkswagen Group maintained its investment discipline with a ratio of investments in property, plant and equipment (capex) to sales revenue in the Automotive Division of 4.1 percent (4.0 percent). Investments related primarily to production facilities, new products and the ecological alignment of the model range.

Brands and business fields

Worldwide unit sales by the Volkswagen Group rose by 5.1 percent year-on-year in the first quarter to 2.4 million vehicles.

The Volkswagen Passenger Cars brand sold 1.1 million cars, down 2.4 percent on the prior-year figure. The brand’s operating profit was €590 million (€1,100 million), and was weighed down by the lower volumes and negative mix effects.

The Audi brand recorded unit sales of 330,000 vehicles (340,000), 2.9 percent fewer than in the prior-year quarter; the Chinese joint venture FAW-Volkswagen sold a further 88,000 Audi vehicles. The premium manufacturer generated an operating profit of €1.3 billion (€1.4 billion).

ŠKODA’s sales declined by 13.3 percent to 179,000 vehicles (206,000). Its operating profit amounted to €112 million (€209 million) on the back of lower volumes, negative mix effects and higher launch costs for new models.

SEAT sold 111,000 vehicles (99,000) worldwide, 11.4 percent more than in the previous year. The operating loss widened from €29 million in the previous year to €46 million.

Bentley delivered 2,000 vehicles (2,400) and its operating profit rose to €27 million (€15 million).

Sports car manufacturer Porsche sold 36,000 vehicles and generated an operating profit of €573 million in the first quarter of 2013.

Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles delivered 102,000 vehicles (119,000). Its operating profit amounted to €60 million (€124 million).

Scania lifted its sales to 17,000 trucks and buses (16,000) and recorded an operating profit of €227 million (€262 million).

MAN sold 30,000 trucks and buses (35,000) and reported an operating loss of €102 million (previous year: operating profit of €222 million). This was negatively impacted by the recognition of project-specific contingency reserves in the area of power engineering.

Volkswagen Financial Services generated an operating profit of €353 million (€311 million).

Winterkorn: “We are approaching the rest of the year with realism and vigilance.”

“We are approaching the rest of the year with our usual realism and great vigilance”, said Winterkorn. He is confident that, despite all the economic uncertainties, the Volkswagen Group can pick up speed as the year progresses and outperform the market as a whole. This is why the Group is also standing by its goals for 2013. Deliveries to customers are expected to increase year-on-year. However, the Group is not completely immune to the intense competition and the impact this is having on its business. The modular toolkit system, which is being continuously expanded, will have an increasingly positive effect on the Group’s cost structure. The Volkswagen Group’s 2013 sales revenue is expected to exceed the prior-year figure. Given the ongoing uncertainty in the economic environment, the Group’s operating profit goal is set to match the prior-year level in 2013.

The complete interim report is published on our website.