VW defies auto industry slowdown | Business| Economy and finance news from a German perspective | DW | 26.07.2012
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VW defies auto industry slowdown

Germany's Volkswagen (VW) Group has reported a profit jump in the first half of 2012 which has beaten even the most optimistic forecasts. Europe's biggest carmaker shines brightest in markets overseas.

VW's first-half net profit has risen to 8.8 billion euros ($10.6 billion) on the back of total sales to the tune of 95.4 billion euros, the German carmaker said Thursday.

Compared with the same period last year, net profit has surged 36 percent, while sales were 22.6 percent higher.

In the months of January through June, the world's third biggest carmaker, after US auto giant General Motors and Toyota from Japan, sold 4.6 million vehicles, which was 10.3 percent more than a year ago.

However, VW wasn't able to escape the ravages of the current auto crisis in Europe as its sales in the debt-laden continent fell like those of most of VW's rivals in the first half of this year.

Growth for the carmaker was primarily generated in North America and Asia, as well as in Eastern Europe and VW's main market, Germany.

Describing the current situation in European auto markets as "challenging," VW Chief Executive Martin Winterkorn said that Volkswagen's global outreach would help the company "beat" general market development in 2012.

Winterkorn said that VW maintained its goals for 2012 which were an increase in sales, and an operating profit of at least 11.3 billion euros - the amount reached by VW reached in 2011.

Discipline with regard to costs and investments, he added, would continue to be "essential" in reaching VW's goal of becoming the world's market leader by 2018.

uhe/sej (dpa, dapd, Reuters)

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