Good start to 2014 for VW Group

Germany
Published:  01 May, 2014

The Volkswagen Group has made a good start to fiscal year 2014 in a market environment that remains difficult. Sales revenue rose by 2.7% in the first three months of the year to €47.8 billion (€46.6 billion in 2013) despite negative currency effects. 

Operating profit grew by 21.8% to €2.9 billion (€2.3 billion 2013). The Group’s operating profit and sales revenue exclude the activities of the Chinese joint ventures, which are accounted for in the financial result using the equity method and is therefore not included in consolidated operating profit. The share of operating profit attributable to the Chinese joint ventures in the first quarter of 2014 was €1.24 billion (€1.16 billion).

Global demand for passenger cars continued to rise in the first quarter of 2014. However, market trends were mixed at a regional level. The number of new registrations in the Asia-Pacific region, Western Europe, North America and Central Europe increased year-on-year, while the emerging markets in South America and Eastern Europe recorded lower market volumes.

VW Group brand performance

The Volkswagen Passenger Cars brand recorded an operating profit of €440 million (€590 million) in the first quarter of 2014. It should be noted that this figure does not include the Chinese joint ventures. Operating profit was negatively impacted by lower sales volumes, negative exchange rate trends especially in South America and Russia and higher upfront investments in new technologies, while lower material costs and improvements in the mix had a positive effect.

AUDI’s operating profit was on a level with the prior-year period, at €1.3 billion (€1.3 billion). Operating profit was impacted by high upfront investments in new products and technologies, as well as in the expansion of the international production network.

Škoda generated an operating profit of €185 million (€112 million) in the first quarter of 2014, up 65.2% on the previous year on the back of volume and mix-related factors.

Seat’s operating loss improved by €10 million to €36 million (€46 million).

Bentley’s operating profit climbed by 65.7% year-on-year to EUR 45 million in the first quarter (€27 million).

Porsche recorded an operating profit of €698 million (€573 million) in the first three months.

Outlook

The Volkswagen Group is expecting a moderate increase in deliveries to customers in fiscal year 2014. Challenges for the Volkswagen Group will come from the difficult market environment and fierce competition, as well as interest rate and exchange rate volatility and fluctuations in raw materials prices. Volkswagen believes that the modular toolkit system, which is being continuously expanded, will have an increasingly positive effect on the Group’s cost structure.

Depending on economic conditions, Volkswagen is expecting 2014 sales revenue for the Group and its business areas to move within a range of 3% around the prior-year figure. In terms of the Group’s operating profit, Volkswagen is forecasting an operating return on sales of between 5.5% and 6.5% in 2014 in light of the challenging economic environment, and the same range for the Passenger Cars Business Area. The Group expects the Commercial Vehicles/Power Engineering Business Area to moderately exceed the 2013 figure. Volkswagen anticipates an operating return on sales of between 8.0% and 9.0% in the Financial Services Division.