According to Volkswagen, despite positive mix effects and an increased contribution by the Financial Services Division, Group sales revenue decreased 3.4% on the strong prior-year figure, at €51 billion. The decline has been attributed to the fall in vehicle unit sales and negative exchange rate effects.

Operating profit climbed to €3.4 billion, with the reported figure equating to an operating return on sales of 6.8%. First-quarter operating profit contained overall positive special items of €0.3 billion, attributed to currency-related adjustments to the provisions recognised in connection with the diesel issue. Excluding these positive special items, the automotive manufacturer said operating profit would have decreased slightly to €3.1 billion. Operating return on sales before special items thus declined to 6.1%.

The Group’s sales revenue and operating profit do not include the operating activities of the Chinese joint ventures, which are accounted for using the equity method.

“In light of the wide range of challenges we are currently facing, we are satisfied overall with the start we have made to what will undoubtedly be a demanding fiscal year 2016. In the first quarter, we once again managed to limit the economic effects of the diesel issue and achieve respectable results under difficult conditions”, said Matthias Müller, Chairman of the Board of Management, Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft.

“This shows that, with its portfolio of strong brands and its good position in many global automotive markets, the Volkswagen Group sits on very robust foundations. We can build on these when we now work towards modernizing our Group and positioning it for the new world of mobility”, he added.

The Volkswagen passenger cars brand recorded a year-on-year decline in volumes and sales revenue in the first three months of the current fiscal year. As a result, its operating profit before special items fell to €73 million, while its operating margin was 0.3% in the first quarter.

At €1.3 billion, Audi’s operating profit before special items was almost on a level with the strong previous year. According to the Group, exchange rate effects and continuing high upfront expenditures for new products and technologies and for the expansion of the international production network had a negative impact on earnings. With sales revenue almost stable, the operating margin declined slightly to 9%.

Bentley’s operating result in Q1 declined year-on-year to –€54 million, due to the decline in vehicle unit sales.

Porsche remained on a successful trajectory at the start of the current fiscal year. Operating profit was up further to €895 million. Its operating margin was 16.6%.