Volkswagen profits soar on weakening mark

Volkswagen, the largest car manufacturer in Europe, boosted profits for the first half of the year by 73 per cent, thanks to a combination of cost-cutting and a weaker German mark.

The company, which sells vehicles under the VW, Skoda, Seat and Audi brand-names, saw net profit surge to DM488m (pounds 166m) as foreign sales were helped by a drop in the value of the mark, which has fallen almost 5 per cent against a basket of currencies of the country's big trading partners.

The number of cars it sold rose 10 per cent to nearly 2.2 million, despite a drop in domestic sales.

Analysts said the figures were mainly in line with expectations, and that lower tax charges had helped. Francois Colli, an analyst at Paribas Capital Markets in London, said: "The trend is good but the numbers are broadly in line with market expectations. Volume, currency and cost-cutting all contributed."

Followers of VW said the car manufacturer was reaping the benefits of a recovery launched by Ferdinand Piech, chief executive, four years ago.

Volkswagen, which is to preview its new Golf model this evening in Bonn, said it expected full-year net profit to exceed last year's level of DM678m despite the risks associated with new launches. The new Golf will be available to the public in October. VW said yesterday: "For the second half of the current year, we expect business to develop positively if the current economic conditions continue. Although the launch of new products also entails risks, we expect 1997 pre-tax and net profit to be higher than last year at group and parent company level."

Sales only increased 12 per cent to DM56.5bn, but VW managed to increase the amount of money it earned per vehicle. Sales outside Germany rose 13.9 per cent, making up for a 1.5 per cent decline in domestic sales. The introduction of an updated version of the Golf had impacted sales of the existing model, the company said yesterday.

Andrew Blair-Smith, at BZW in Frankfurt, was fairly bullish about VW's future. "The momentum at VW is still improving and that was particularly evident in the second quarter," he said.

News
people And here is why...
News
people
News
peopleStella McCartney apologises over controversial Instagram picture
Arts and Entertainment
Hayley Williams performs with Paramore in New York
musicParamore singer says 'Steal Your Girl' is itself stolen from a New Found Glory hit
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
News
William Hague
people... when he called Hague the county's greatest
Extras
indybestKeep extra warm this year with our 10 best bedspreads
Life and Style
health
News
i100
News
people
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Birmingham - Real Staffing

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: Real Staffing are currently lo...

Trust Accountant - Kent

NEGOTIABLE: Austen Lloyd: TRUST ACCOUNTANT - KENTIf you are a Chartered Accou...

Graduate Recruitment Consultant - 2013/14 Grads - No Exp Needed

£18000 - £20000 per annum + OTE £30000: SThree: SThree are a global FTSE 250 b...

Law Costs

Highly Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: CITY - Law Costs Draftsperson - NICHE...

Day In a Page

Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

The children orphaned by Ebola...

... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

Are censors pandering to homophobia?

US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
The magic of roundabouts

Lords of the rings

Just who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?
Why do we like making lists?

Notes to self: Why do we like making lists?

Well it was good enough for Ancient Egyptians and Picasso...
Hong Kong protests: A good time to open a new restaurant?

A good time to open a new restaurant in Hong Kong?

As pro-democracy demonstrators hold firm, chef Rowley Leigh, who's in the city to open a new restaurant, says you couldn't hope to meet a nicer bunch
Paris Fashion Week: Karl Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'

Paris Fashion Week

Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'
Bruce Chatwin's Wales: One of the finest one-day walks in Britain

Simon Calder discovers Bruce Chatwin's Wales

One of the finest one-day walks you could hope for - in Britain
10 best children's nightwear

10 best children's nightwear

Make sure the kids stay cosy on cooler autumn nights in this selection of pjs, onesies and nighties
Manchester City vs Roma: Five things we learnt from City’s draw at the Etihad

Manchester City vs Roma

Five things we learnt from City’s Champions League draw at the Etihad
Martin Hardy: Mike Ashley must act now and end the Alan Pardew reign

Trouble on the Tyne

Ashley must act now and end Pardew's reign at Newcastle, says Martin Hardy
Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

Last chance to see...

The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
So here's why teenagers are always grumpy - and it's not what you think

Truth behind teens' grumpiness

Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?

Hacked photos: the third wave

Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?