VOLKSWAGEN GROUP CONTINUES SUCCESSFUL PERFORMANCE IN FIRST HALF OF 2012

Prof Dr Martin Winterkorn

  • Sales revenue rises 22.6 per cent to €95.4 billion (€77.8 billion)
  • Operating profit up 6.7 per cent to €6.5 billion (€6.1 billion)
  • Share of global passenger car market improves to 12.4 per cent (12.3)
  • Automotive Division net liquidity at €14.9 billion

Prof Dr Martin Winterkorn

Wolfsburg, July 30, 2012 – The Volkswagen Group maintained its positive trajectory in the first half of 2012 despite growing challenges in a large number of automotive markets. ‘We can be satisfied with our performance in the first six months,’ said Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn, Chairman of the Board of Management of Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft, at the presentation of the financial report for the first half of the year on Thursday. ‘Our strong position in the international markets will enable us to outperform the market as a whole – despite the challenging environment.’

The Volkswagen Group increased its sales revenue to €95.4 billion in the first six months, up 22.6 per cent on the prior-year period (H1 2011: €77.8 billion). Operating profit rose by 6.7 per cent to €6.5 billion (€6.1 billion). At 6.8 per cent, the operating return on sales after six months was on a level with the first quarter of 2012 (previous year: 7.8 per cent). The consolidated operating profit for H1 does not include the €1.8 billion (€1.2 billion) share of the operating profit of the Chinese joint ventures. These companies are included using the equity method and are therefore reflected in the financial result. This was lifted by the strong business performance of the Chinese joint ventures and the improvement in profit recorded by Porsche Zwischenholding GmbH. The updated measurement of the put/call rights relating to Porsche Zwischenholding GmbH at the reporting date also had a positive effect on the financial result. Profit before tax for the first half of the year amounted to €10.1 billion (€8.2 billion) – an increase of 22.1 per cent as against the prior-year period. The figure after tax improved by 35.9 per cent to €8.8 billion (€6.5 billion).

CFO Hans Dieter Pötsch was also satisfied with developments in the first half of the year. ‘Against a background of economic uncertainty, our performance so far, our improving cost structures, our flexible production and our technology leadership in many areas mean that we are well equipped to meet the challenges facing us,’ said Pötsch. ‘More than ever before, our sound financial position is paying off.’

Automotive Division net liquidity

Net liquidity in the Automotive Division was €14.9 billion at the end of the first half of 2012, as against €17.0 billion at the end of December 2011. This figure includes cash outflows of €2.1 billion from the increase in 2012 in the stake in MAN SE, the Munich-based manufacturer of commercial vehicles, engines and power engineering equipment, to 75.03 per cent of the voting rights and 73.57 per cent of the share capital.

At €3.4 billion, investments in property, plant and equipment in the Automotive Division in H1 exceeded the prior-year figure (€2.5 billion). Nevertheless, the Volkswagen Group maintained its strict investment discipline. The ratio of investments in property, plant and equipment (capex) to sales revenue in the Automotive Division amounted to 4.0 per cent (3.7 per cent). Investments related primarily to production facilities, the switch to the Modular Transverse Toolkit, new products and the ecological alignment of the model range. ‘Disciplined cost and investment management and the continuous optimisation of our processes remain core components of our strategy going forward,’ said Pötsch.

Brands and Business Fields

Continuing strong demand for Group vehicles around the world saw unit sales by the Volkswagen Group rise 12.4 per cent to 4.6 million vehicles (4.1 million) in the first six months. The Group’s share of the global passenger car market increased to 12.4 per cent as against 12.3 per cent in the prior-year period.

The Volkswagen Passenger Cars brand sold 2.4 million vehicles (2.2 million) in H1/2012. This corresponds to an increase of 9.5 per cent compared with the prior-year period. The Fox, Tiguan, Touareg and Sharan models recorded the highest growth rates. Demand for the up!, Beetle and CC models was also particularly strong. Despite upfront expenditures for the Modular Transverse Toolkit, operating profit improved by 3.8 per cent to €2.2 billion (€2.1 billion).

Ingolstadt-based premium car manufacturer Audi sold 678,000 vehicles from January to June 2012, and the Chinese joint venture FAW-Volkswagen sold a further 166,000 Audi vehicles. The Audi Q5, Audi A6, Audi A7 Sportback and Audi A8 models recorded the highest growth rates. Demand for the new Audi A1 Sportback and Audi Q3 models was also particularly high. Operating profit amounted to €2.9 billion, 13.2 per cent above the prior-year level (€2.5 billion).

ŠKODA recorded sales of 408,000 vehicles (362,000) in the first six months, 12.6 per cent more than in the first half of 2011. The Roomster, Yeti and Octavia models as well as the Rapid in India were increasingly popular. Higher volumes and improved product costs saw operating profit rise by 9.0 per cent to €449 million (€412 million).

SEAT posted a 16.0 per cent year-on-year increase in unit sales to 218,000 vehicles worldwide (188,000), despite a further decline in demand for vehicles in the Spanish passenger car market, which continues to deteriorate. Germany and the United Kingdom exceeded their prior-year sales figures. The brand’s operating loss narrowed by €6 million to €42 million.

Luxury carmaker Bentley continued to benefit from growing demand, selling around 5,000 vehicles (3,000) in the first half of the year. This corresponds to an increase of 47.8 per cent compared with the prior-year period. After recording an operating loss of €17 million in the first half of 2011, Bentley generated an operating profit of €57 million in the first six months of this year.

Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles sold 228,000 vehicles (218,000) in the first six months, up 4.8 per cent on the previous year. Operating profit rose by €7 million compared with the first half of 2011 to €242 million.

Unit sales by Swedish commercial vehicles manufacturer Scania declined by 20.5 per cent year-on-year in the first six months to 32,000 vehicles (40,000). Demand declined mainly in Europe/Remaining markets and South America. Operating profit amounted to €477 million as against €743 million in the prior-year period.

Commercial vehicle, engine and power engineering equipment manufacturer MAN sold 68,000 vehicles in the first half of 2012. Its operating profit amounted to €354 million.

Volkswagen Financial Services generated an operating profit of €665 million in the period from January to June, exceeding the prior-year figure by €111 million on the back of volume and currency-related factors.

Winterkorn: ‘We expect to reach our goals.’

Despite the challenging environment, the Volkswagen Group remains confident about the second half of the year. ‘We expect to reach our goals for the year as a whole. The Volkswagen Group’s main competitive advantages are its broad global positioning and multibrand strategy, combined with its wide range of financial services,’ said Winterkorn. Volkswagen has a diverse, fascinating and environmentally friendly product portfolio. This will become even more attractive with the integration of exclusive sports car brand Porsche into the Group. Furthermore, the Volkswagen Group will again launch a large number of new models in the second half of 2012, such as the new Golf, to help further expand the Group’s strong position in the global markets. ‘As a result, we expect to increase deliveries to customers year-on-year,’ said Winterkorn.

Europe’s largest automobile manufacturer also reiterated its forecast that sales revenue will exceed the prior-year figure. While the consolidation of MAN SE as of November 9, 2011 will help increase sales revenue, its contribution to earnings will be limited because of the write-downs that will be required for purchase price allocation. In addition, the contribution in full of Porsche’s automotive business with expected effect as from August 1, 2012 will lead to its consolidation in the Volkswagen Group; however, the resulting increase in sales revenue will be relatively slight due to consolidation effects. The high initial depreciation and amortisation expense from purchase price allocation is expected to largely offset Porsche’s contribution to earnings in operating profit for the current fiscal year.

The goal for operating profit remains to match the 2011 level.

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