Audi profit drops on VW pollution scandal | Business| Economy and finance news from a German perspective | DW | 03.03.2016
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Audi profit drops on VW pollution scandal

VW subsidiary Audi has reported dwindling profits despite a pickup in sales. The car maker attributed the development to money it had to set aside for litigation and refitting cars that had manipulated software units.

Audi announced Thursday its operating profit for 2015 amounted to 4.8 billion euros ($5.3 billion), marking a 6.1-percent drop from a year earlier.

Bottom-line earnings reached 4.3 billion euros, down 3 percent from 2014 levels. The Ingolstadt-based luxury car maker noted the decline in net profit came despite a 6.6-percent surge in sales, with the company producing a record 1.8 million units last year.

Audi said that substantial financial resources were required to cover litigation costs as well as the costs stemming from the refitting of illegal defeat devices that Audi and some other VW brands used to thwart emissions tests in the lab.

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The automaker added it had made provisions to the tune of 70 million euros for a large-scale recall in North America over possible defects in airbags.

Audi board members, led by CEO Rupert Stadler, saw their salaries cut by a fifth in 2015 in the wake of the emissions cheating scandal and lower corporate profits.

The drop in net earnings also affected regular staff at Audi's production facilities in Germany. Their annual bonuses decreased by roughly 1,000 euros to about 5,000 euros.

Audi employs 85,000 people worldwide; 60,000 of them are in Germany.

hg/cjc (dpa, Reuters)

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