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VW brand upbeat as cost cuts, new models boost Sept quarter earnings

The brand said on Monday it expected sales and profits to keep growing in October-December

Reuters  |  Berlin 

Diesel cars loiter in lots as VW dealers, owners sit and wait

Cost cutting and new models such as the Arteon fastback should continue to boost Volkswagen's main car in the fourth quarter after it doubled core earnings in July-September, it said on Monday.

Analysts see reviving the VW brand, which has long suffered from high staff and development costs, as crucial to the group's ability to recover from its diesel emissions scandal.

The said on Monday it expected sales and profits to keep growing in October-December, despite the hit across the industry to demand of diesel vehicles and their resale value in the wake of the German carmaker's 2015 scandal.

"Our model offensive is increasingly paying off, the turnaround programmes in the markets are having an effect," VW chief Herbert Diess said in a statement.

Operating profit at the doubled to 728 million euros ($847 million) in the three months to Sept. 30, helped by cost cuts and staff reductions agreed with labour unions last year.

shares were up 2.9 per cent to 156.40 euros at 1150 GMT.

By contrast, the group's premium Audi division said it was bracing for a "demanding quarter" with costs for vehicle overhauls including the high-end A6, A7 and A8 as well as the Q3 and A1 compacts weighing on

Audi's quarterly profit and sales were broadly flat, held back by spending on foreign capacity and electrification of its model fleet.

The VW now expects its operating margin to moderately exceed a 2.5-3.5 per cent target range this year, it said.

That is in line with the more upbeat profit outlook announced by parent on Friday.

The VW is aiming to raise the margin to at least 4 per cent by 2020 and 6 per cent by 2025 - still lagging some major competitors such as Japan's Toyota and PSA Group.

revenue could increase around 10 percent this year on 2016 levels, VW said, keeping previous guidance and citing demand in markets such as the United States, Brazil and Russia after reporting an 8.3 per cent gain in year-to-date revenue.

Fixed costs at the were flat in July-September, despite a growing number of model launches which have included the top-of-the-line Arteon and the redesigned Polo subcompact, it said, without being more specific.

Analysts expect VW earnings to keep growing next year on the back of more higher-margin sport-utility vehicles such as the all-new T-Roc and redesigned Touareg, as well as the ongoing restructuring efforts.

VW's upbeat comments echo recent announcements by peers.

Last week, PSA and Renault revised up their market outlooks after quarterly revenue increases.

First Published: Mon, October 30 2017. 18:44 IST
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