Audi Group continues to defy crisis in 3rd quarter
Audi has shrugged off the effects of the global economic crisis and again posted a clear operating profit of EUR 348 million in the third quarter of the current fiscal year (2008: EUR 760 million). Over the first three quarters of the current fiscal year, Audi has thus achieved an operating return of 5.4 percent (2008: 8.0 percent), making it one of the top performers in the industry.
Despite the continuing global economic crisis, Audi succeeded in yet again reporting a clear operating profit for the third quarter of the year. The Audi Group generated revenues of EUR 7.2 billion between July and September (2008: EUR 8.4 billion), down 14.9 percent on the record figure of the previous year. The operating profit for the period amounted to EUR 348 million, a fall of 54.2 percent on the record figure of the previous year (2008: EUR 760 million). "The figure was diminished not just by the general economic situation but also by expenditure necessitated by product launches such as the A8 and A1, as well as by the three-week summer production break in August", remarked Axel Strotbek, Board Member for Finance and Organization at AUDI AG. He declared that the company was nevertheless very satisfied with the result, which further strengthened its liquidity position.
Over the first three quarters of the year, the Audi Group generated an operating profit of EUR 1,172 million (2008: EUR 2,059 million), equivalent to an operating return of 5.4 percent (2008: 8.0 percent) - an excellent figure in industry terms in such a difficult year. With profit before tax reaching more than EUR 1.4 billion, the return on sales before tax was 6.5 percent in the first nine months of the fiscal year. "This demonstrates how prudently Audi is steering a course through the crisis", continued Strotbek. He was also bullish about the fourth quarter: "We expect our profitability to be even better than in the third quarter."
"These successes mean we can continue to cover all investment in new technologies such as electric mobility and more efficient models from our operating cash flow from operations", explained Strotbek. In 2009 and 2010 the company will be investing a total of EUR 920 million at Ingolstadt - above all in the A3/A3 Sportback, the A5 Sportback and a new Transmissions and Emissions Center. Some EUR 970 million will be invested at Neckarsulm over the same period. The priority measures will be the new A8, the A7, the A6 family and a Carbon Fiber Competence Center.
A significant portion of capital expenditure is being pumped into the company's efficiency drive. For instance, Audi is currently investing significant amounts in expanding its expertise in electric mobility. One of the fruits of these efforts is the all-electric e-tron sports car that was first shown at the Frankfurt Auto Show IAA in September and is set for market launch in 2012 as a low-volume model. Audi has set up the e-performance work group to furtherpromote the topic of electric drive. To bolster its expertise in this field, the brand with the four rings is currently looking to recruit 100 additional engineers.
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