The German luxury carmaker Audi's profit soared to a new record in 2011 as it sold as many cars as never before. In spite of rising costs weighing on profits, Audi expects bumper sales in 2012, too.
Audi's net profit soared by 69 percent to 4.4 billion euros ($5.9 billion) in 2011, on the back of a similarly steep rise in its operating profit by 60.1 percent to 5.35 billion, the German luxury carmaker reported Thursday.
The Ingolstadt-based company – an offshoot of Europe's biggest auto maker Volkswagen – also said that car deliveries jumped by 16.9 percent to 1.512 million vehicles, resulting in annual revenue of 44.1 billion euros – up 24.4 percent compared with the previous year.
Describing 2011 as "the most successful year" in Audi history, the company's chief executive Rupert Stadler told a news conference that Audi would strive to "continue on this path in 2012" by growing "more strongly than the market as a whole."
However, in its forecast for 2012, Audi expects rising costs to weigh on profits.
Aiming to achieve an operating profit "on a par" with 2011, Audi's chief financial officer Axel Strotbek said that "higher expenses for new technologies and models, as well as start-up costs for an expansion of production structures" would be burdening earnings.
Audi car sales in January and February again rose by 8 percent to more than 200,000 vehicles compared with the first two months of 2011.
Therefore, the company decided to pay out the biggest bonus of all German car makers to its employees.
Audi's 44,800 workers would receive an average of 8,251 euros each, compared with 7,600 euros for Porsche workers and 4,100 euros for those of rival Daimler.
uhe/ng (Reuters, dpa AFP)