With revenue of €12.4 billion and an operating profit of €1.4 billion, the Audi Group enjoys its strongest first quarter ever
CFO Axel Strotbek: “An 11.4 percent operating return on sales reflects the Company’s high profitability.”
The Audi Group again demonstrated its strong position in the worldwide automotive business in the first quarter of 2012 in the shape of record deliveries, revenue and operating profit. In the first three months of the current fiscal year, the Company delivered 346,137 (2011: 312,532) cars of the Audi brand – more than ever before. And the operating profit of €1.4 billion (2011: €1.1 billion) was the Ingolstadt-based carmaker’s best quarterly result ever.
The models of the brand with the four rings remained very popular from January through March 2012. With 346,137 (2011: 312,532) cars delivered worldwide, 10.8 percent more customers chose an Audi than in the prior-year period. The Audi Group moreover increased its revenue by 17.8 percent to the new record level of €12.4 (2011: €10.5) billion. Meanwhile, its operating profit saw a 26.6 percent rise, significantly outstripping revenue growth to reach a new quarterly record of €1.4 (2011: €1.1) billion.
With an operating return on sales of 11.4 (2011: 10.6) percent, the Audi Group remains one of the most profitable companies in the automotive industry worldwide. “An 11.4 percent operating return on sales reflects the Company’s high profitability,” remarked Axel Strotbek, Member of the Board of Management of AUDI AG for Finance and Organization.
The positive development is attributable not just to the increased volume and higher-grade model mix, but also to continuing productivity advances. Despite the difficult current situation in certain European markets, Axel Strotbek is confident about the prospects for the full year: “Provided the economic framework does not change significantly, we expect operating profit for 2012 to remain at the high level of 2011, even though we will have to absorb higher expenses for new models, technologies and expanded production structures.”
In order to achieve this goal, Audi aims to grow faster than the overall market worldwide. The Company is therefore bringing a total of 18 models onto the market this year. The A6 hybrid, the A1 Sportback and the revised models of the A4 family have already been on sale to customers for a number of months. The Company also expects its growth to be stimulated by the Audi A3, premiered at the Geneva Motor Show and due to appear at dealers from the summer.
Mainly in response to its strong international sales growth, Audi has again significantly increased the number of employees it plans to hire this year. The Company intends to recruit around 2,000 experts in Germany alone in 2012 – 800 more than originally planned. Audi is especially eager to boost its lightweight construction and electric mobility areas of expertise. In addition, over 700 young people will embark on apprenticeships at Audi this year. Furthermore, up to 700 temporary workers will be taken on permanently.
The Company is also expanding its production structures. For example, Audi is currently transforming the site in Győr, Hungary, into a fully-fledged automotive plant where a new member of the A3 family is to be built from 2013. Audi also plans to build an SUV model at a new plant in Mexico from 2016. The Company will choose the exact location before the end of this year.
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