Audi Group: Operating profit of 823 million euros for first six months
In the first six months of the current year the Audi Group succeeded in avoiding the effects of the negative overall market trend, and recorded a significant operating profit of 823 million euros (2008: 1.3 billion euros). The Audi brand is also hitting its sales targets: in the first six months, approximately 466,000 cars were delivered (2008: 516,219), representing a 9.7 percent shortfall compared with the previous year's record figure.
The Audi Group succeeded in maintaining its earning power in the first half of the year, despite the major challenges encountered on worldwide automobile markets and the difficult overall economic situation. Between January and the end of June, the Group's sales revenues were 14.5 billion euros (2008: 17.4 billion euros), 16.4 percent below the record figure achieved a year previously. The operating profit in this period was 823 million euros, 36.6 percent below the total achieved in the same period of 2008 (2008: 1.3 billion euros).
"We are very satisfied with the result for the first half-year, but are keeping our feet on the ground because we expect to face some difficulties in the second half of the year," says Axel Strotbek, Board Member for Finance and Organization at AUDI AG. "Despite this, we're maintaining our targets of selling 900,000 vehicles by the end of the year and achieving a significant operating profit."
Profit before tax for the first half-year was 994 million euros (2008: 1.4 billion euros), a drop of 27.5 percent compared with the previous year's record figure. Profit after tax was in the region of 697 million euros (2008: 930 million euros), down by 25.0 percent compared with the first six months of 2008.
Net cash flow in the first six months of this year totaled 1.37 billion euros and was therefore at a similar level to the previous year (2008: 1.48 billion euros). This demonstrates the financial strength of the Audi Group, which even in the current crisis is able to undertake all its investments without resorting to outside funds, and even to record a surplus. Axel Strotbek confirms this: "Our sound financial base is evident from a renewed increase in net liquidity, which rose to more than 9.7 billion euros in the first six months of the year (Dec. 31, 2008: 9.3 billion euros). This will help us to emerge stronger than ever from the global economic crisis."
Despite the crisis, there has been no slackening in the speed of Audi's product initiative. Strotbek: "Every year we invest around two billion euros in the development of innovative products and efficient driveline technologies." By 2015 the brand intends to increase its range to 42 models. The market launch of the new A5 Sportback starts in September in Germany, to be followed in 2010 by the A8 full-size sedan and, halfway through the year, by the totally new Audi A1. With this model Audi will be accessing a new target group in the premium segment of the market.
On all its new models, the Audi brand is devoting special attention to high efficiency and environmental compatibility. The efficiency campaign is based on the optimization of conventional technologies, the targeted use of lightweight construction methods as a means of reversing the spiral of increasing weight and the development of electrically powered cars to series-production status. Audi already has 31 models in its range with CO2 emissions below 140 grams per kilometer, and in the fall of this year the figure will rise to 50. By 2012, Audi intends to achieve a 20 percent reduction in CO2 emissions from its vehicle fleet, by the systematic adoption of high-efficiency technologies.
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