To say that Volkswagen AG is thriving is an understatement. For the first quarter, its profit nearly doubled as sales in China and of its Audi luxury brand hit record levels. The net income of Europe's largest automaker rose to 473 million euros ($633 million) from 243 million euros a year earlier. In a statement, VW compared this with the 459 million-euro average estimate of four analysts as compiled by Bloomberg.
Sales went up by 19% to 28.6 billion euros. In what is regarded to be a sign that European carmakers are on its way to an economic recovery, VW is predicting that this year, it will have considerable sales growth.
VW has a target of surpassing Toyota Motor Corp. in deliveries and profitability by 2018. Earlier this week, Daimler AG raised forecasts for its car and truck units. PSA/Peugeot-Citroen's first quarter revenue rose by 28%, easily beating estimates.
Christian Aust, a Munich-based analyst with UniCredit, before the earnings release, had indicated that growth in the US and China markets would contribute to VW'd sales increase this year.
He also said that when it comes to profit, VW find it difficult "for it to compensate for a weak second-half in Europe." VW's European deliveries last year were boosted by government scrappage schemes that prompted the trade-in of older cars for fuel-efficient ones.
As a result, VW posted that it had sold a record 6.29 million cars and sport-utility vehicles. In Frankfurt, VW rose as much as 1.65 euros, or 2.2%, to 75.25 euros and traded at 74.97 euros as of 13:35 CET, valuing the carmaker at 34.4 billion euros.