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VW reports Q1 growth

The Volkswagen Group increased its sales revenue by 5.1% to €26.6 billion (£18.1bn) in the first quarter of 2007.

VW delivered 1.5 million vehicles worldwide, an increase of 7.9% compared to Q1 2006.

Hans Dieter Pötsch, Volkswagen’s CFO, said: “Our new product initiative was successful. All Group brands increased their sales in the first quarter.

“The significant progress we have made in improving our competitiveness is positively reflected in our earnings. All brands contributed to this success.”

The German manufacturer also doubled its profit after tax, which rose to €740 million (£505.3m). Operating profit rose to €1.1bn (£751m) year-on-year.

The Volkswagen passenger cars brand increased its operating profit by €435m (£297m) to €386m (£264m) in the first quarter. VW said the rise was due to its restructuring measures implemented last year.

At €401m (£274m), Audi’s operating profit increased by €56m (£38.3m) year-on-year.

The Škoda brand was also successful: its operating profit rose by €29m (£20m) to €172m (£117.5m).

Seat posted an operating loss of €11m (£7.5m).

The Bentley brand increased its operating profit by €33m (£22.5m) to €38m (£26m). Lamborghini also recorded positive earnings growth.

The operating profit generated by Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles also increased, by €15m (£10.2m) to €66m (£45.1m).

Pötsch reiterated expectations for the current year. He said that the Volkswagen Group will systematically continue the new model rollout, increase productivity and further improve processes.

“We expect to increase worldwide deliveries to customers slightly in 2007 and to exceed 2006 sales revenue. 2007 operating profit is expected to be higher than 2006 operating profit before special items.”

VW is again expecting a positive net cash flow in the automotive division.

For 2008, the board of management is confident of achieving a consolidated profit before tax of at least €5.1bn (£3.5bn).

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