Sales revenue for the period came in at €62.7 billion with operating profit before special items of €8.5 billion, despite continuing issues with Covid-19, semiconductor shortages and the war in Ukraine.

Volkswagen said that the main drivers for its results in the first quarter were an improved sales mix, better pricing, continued cost discipline and the flexibility provided by the Group’s global setup.

Research and development in the automotive division increased during the period by 10% to €4.4 billion, primarily due to development activities for electric vehicles.

The Volume brand group saw the biggest exposure to Covid-19, semiconductor shortages and the war in Ukraine but, despite this, all brands in this group saw an increase in average sales prices despite unit sales declining in part by double-digit percentages.

The VW brand, Seat and Commercial Vehicles achieved margin increases with Skoda reporting a decline due to consolidation of the Russian business. The Volume brand group brought in sales revenue of €24.4 billion in the first quarter.

The Premium brand group (including Bentley) saw a first quarter in line with the prior year, achieving revenue of €14.4 billion while operating profit before special items more than doubled to €3.5 billion despite a decline in volumes.

Meanwhile, Sport & Luxury reports strong demand for the 911, Panamera and Cayenne models. Sales revenue increased to €7.3 billion and higher earnings contributions led to an increase in operating profit of €1.4 billion.

Looking forward, the company is continuing its expansion plans, targeting 10% market share in the United States by 2030. Battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) will be key to this strategy, with Volkswagen aiming to grow this portfolio to more than 25 models in the same timeframe.

“Our Group has shown great resilience again in the first quarter despite the unprecedented challenges the world faces due to the terrible war in Ukraine and the ongoing pandemic situation with its impact on supply chains,” said CEO Herbert Diess.

“As a truly global company, we have extensive production capacities in all major growth and sales markets worldwide. Volkswagen’s global set-up helped us to mitigate many of the adverse effects we are currently seeing. Even in a more polarised world, Volkswagen is firmly committed to expanding its global footprint, further driving its transformation into a sustainable and fully digital mobility provider.”