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Volkswagen predicting 2008 growth, despite tough market

Volkswagen Group has increased operating profits for the first six months of 2008, with a 21.8% uplift to €3.4bn (£2.7bn) despite western European sales outside Germany falling 3.6% to 1.07 million units.

The company blamed a weaker market in the region for the drop in sales, compared to a 3.7% rise in deliveries in Germany.

Global revenue rose 3% to €56.5bn (£44.5bn), with a 5.8% rise in deliveries to 3.27m and growth across all of its individual passenger car brands.

Its strongest performance is in emerging markets, particularly China where it sold 531,600 vehicles, up 23% year on year and just 2,400 units apart from the 534,000 delivered in Germany.

The Financial Services Division also saw a €12m (£8.4m) rise in profits to €523m (£419m), while investment in property, plant and equipment remained below long term average.

End of year figures for deliveries, sales revenue and operating profit are expected to be up on 2007, according to the board.

Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn, Chairman of the Board of Management of Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft, said: “The operating environment has become tougher and is demanding considerable efforts from the automotive industry.

“However, we are well positioned and have the right strategy to master the tasks ahead of us".

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