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Emissions issue hits Audi profits, but brand promises 20 new or revised models this year

Audi plans to launch more than 20 new or revised models worldwide and to continue its growth in 2016, despite a hit on profits due to the parent company’s emissions’ scandal.

Last year it set a new record for unit sales. Worldwide deliveries increased compared with 2014 by 3.6% to 1,803,246 automobiles.

During its annual press conference Rupert Stadler, chairman of Audi AG’s board of management, said: “We successfully mastered a year of challenges.

“We will now invest in 2016 more than €3 billion (£2.3bn) for the mobility of tomorrow, and we will push forward with the electrification and digitization of our products.”

Before the worldwide rollout of important models like the new Audi A4, the operating return on sales amounted to 8.3% despite the “challenging conditions” (namely the emissions issue) and was within the target of eight to 10%, he said.

In 2015, the Audi Group achieved an operating profit after special items of €4,836 million (£3,744m), or work mainly related to the diesel issue with the six‑cylinder TDI engines.

They include financial expenses for technical measures, legal risks and sales activities.

Without this, operating profit amounted to €298m (£230m) more - €5,134m (£3,974m) - and was thus at the prior‑year level (2014: €5,150m/£3,987m). This represents an operating return on sales of 8.8% (2014: 9.6%).

Stadler said of the emissions’ scandal: “We regret what happened. We will ensure full transparency and assure you that we will put things right.”

Due to an agreement with Volkswagen AG, the affected four‑cylinder TDI engines have no direct impact on the profitability of the Audi Group.

As a result of the strong demand, the company achieved a new record for revenue, posting a figure of €58.4bn (£45.2bn).

Operating profit was €4.8bn (£3.7bn) and operating profit before special items of €5.1bn (£3.9bn) was at the high level of the previous year.

This year, Audi will “maintain the high speed of its product initiative”.

For example the A2 will see Audi in a new segment.

At the same time, Audi is developing the key areas of electrification and digitization. Investment of more than €3bn (£2.3bn) is planned in 2016.

Worldwide Audi achieved record unit sales in 2015: worldwide deliveries increased to 1,803,246 automobiles (2014: 1,741,129), representing growth of 3.6% compared with 2014.

Primarily due to the high level of demand, the Audi Group set a new record also for revenue. Compared with 2014, revenue grew by 8.6% to €58,420m (£45,214m), compared to 2014's total of €53,787m (£41,632m).

 In 2016, the Audi Group plans a “moderate increase” in the number of cars delivered to customers.

 

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