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2016 'a year of transition' for embattled VW

Europe's biggest carmaker has said it's undergoing a period of change as its efforts to come to terms with its pollution scandal usher in a new era. The company has stressed it wants to focus on electromobility.

Despite a record 1.6 billion-euro ($1.82-billion) loss in 2015 and a tainted image because of its large-scale

emissions cheating sacndal,

German carmaker VW hoped to be back on track soon, CEO Matthias Müller said at a news conference in Wolfsburg on Thursday while presenting details of the company's performance last year.

"2016 will be a year of transition," Müller told reporters and analysts, adding that it would also be a year in which the auto maker would speed up structural changes in the firm and lay the foundation for "a better Volkswagen."

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Complete reorientation?

Müller said the company would open up a lot more to cooperation with other business partners, adding that his "2025 Strategy" for transforming the firm would be presented to the public in June.

Müller also pointed out that large-scale digitalization and electromobility would be cornerstones of that strategic reorientation.

VW officials confirmed the basic full-year results they had published last Friday after a meeting of the executive board. While logging a record loss, Europe's largest automaker was able to boost its 2015 revenues by 5.4 percent.

Matthias Müller Nachfolger Winterkorn Volkswagen

Müller: hard work ahead

But operating profit was completely eaten up by the 16.2 billion euros the car maker set aside to deal with its pollution scandal.

Nonetheless, Müller said Volkswagen continued to be on sound financial footing, pointing to available overall resources of 24.5 billion euros and a net cash flow of little under 9 billion euros.

hg/cjc (dpa, Reuters, AFP)

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