For the first half of 2012, Volkswagen Group’s profit gained 7% as the high demand for Audi vehicles in China and the U.S. protected it from the impact of the debt crisis in Europe. Its operating profit increased to a record-breaking figure of 6.49 billion euros ($8.0 billion) from 6.09 billion euros the previous year. Its sales increased by 23% to 95.4 billion euros. Volkswagen has lessened its exposure to the European new-car market due to its expansion in China and the U.S. The European auto industry is predicted to fall for the fifth straight year as the debt crisis weakens the buying power in the region.
The demand for models, ranging from the VW Up minicar to the Lamborghini Aventador to heavy trucks from Scania increased sales by 12.4% to 4.6 million vehicles in the first half, boosted by the 12% gain of the Audi brand. In a statement, VW said that “positive effects” resulted from its “attractive” model lineup and strong market position.
These are partly offset by increasingly stiff competition in a demanding market environment, particularly in certain European countries. Volkswagen stayed with its goal to match the operating profit last year of 11.3 billion euros as higher revenue and auto deliveries offset higher development expenses as it overhauls the Audi A3 premium compact and top-selling VW Golf compact. Bloomberg surveyed 21 analysts who said that the average estimate for 2012 earnings before interest and taxes is 12.1 billion euros.