Volkswagen Q3 earnings up sharply to $2.9 billion

AP News
Posted: Oct 27, 2010 12:18 PM

German automaker Volkswagen AG on Wednesday reported a jump in earnings for the third quarter of 2010 and said it has set its sights on becoming the global leader in the car industry.

Volkswagen said net earnings rose to euro2.1 billion ($2.9 billion) in the July to September period of 2010, more than 13 times the euro161 million it earned in the same period of last year.

Demand from China, Western Europe and North and South America continued to drive demand, the company said. New models, VW's Passat and Audi's A7 Sportback, quattro Concept and e-tron Spyder were among top sellers. Sales in China amounted to euro1.36 billion, or some 1.5 million vehicles.

The company, based in Wolfsburg, Germany, said it saw an 18 percent increase in revenue to euro30.7 billion, compared with euro26 billion in the same period last year. Overall the Volkswagen group, which includes the Audi, Skoda and Seat, sold 1.7 million cars, a 7.5 percent increase over last year's third quarter.

"Increased demand for our group models and our disciplined cost management led to these strong results, which have strengthened our sound financial base," said Hans Dieter Poetsch, VW's chief financial officer.

VW said that operating profit was euro1.9 billion, compared with euro278 million in the third quarter of 2009.

Chief executive Martin Winterkorn said the "pole position" in the automotive industry was "firmly in our sights," although the company noted that sales were expected to cool in the fourth quarter.

The company is expected to bring more new models onto the market in the final quarter of the year.

Investors rallied at the report, driving VW shares up 3.4 percent to euro19.5 in late afternoon trading in Frankfurt.

Last week, Volkswagen announced that its profit after tax for the January-September period rose to nearly euro4.03 billion from euro655 million a year earlier.

Operating profit for the nine-month period rose to euro4.83 billion from euro1.52 billion.