The FINANCIAL — The Audi Group has posted strong results for the first quarter of 2015: Worldwide sales by the Audi brand increased compared with the prior-year period by 6.1 percent to 438,229 units.
In the months of January through March, the Ingolstadt-based manufacturer of premium cars generated revenue of €14,651 million and an operating profit of €1,422 million. Its operating return on sales was 9.7 percent, according to Volkswagen.
In the first quarter of this year, Audi grew in all regions. Compared with the prior-year period, worldwide unit sales increased by 6.1 percent and deliveries to customers totaled 438,229 automobiles with the Four Rings (Q1 2014: 412,848). Along with the growth in unit sales, the Audi Group increased its first-quarter revenue by 13.1 percent to €14,651 million (Q1 2014: €12,951 million). Operative profit surpassed the prior-year level by 8.2 percent and amounted to €1,422 million (Q1 2014: €1,314 million).
At the publication of the interim report for the first quarter, Axel Strotbek, Board of Management Member for Finance and Organization at AUDI AG, commented: “Despite ongoing high investment, we are systematically pursuing our ambitious profitability targets.” He stated that the operating return on sales of 9.7 percent for the first quarter (Q1 2014: 10.1 percent) confirmed the successful course of the Audi Group, which is currently making enormous investments for new products and technologies and to expand its international production network.
Audi plans to invest a total of €24 billion by 2019. The focus of the biggest investment program in the company’s history is on technical innovations and new models. In addition, the manufacturer of premium automobiles intends to expand its worldwide production structures. As in the past, all the investment in property, plant and equipment is to be financed out of the cash flow from operating activities.
The Audi Group achieved pre-tax profit of €1,497 million in the first quarter of this year (Q1 2014: €1,398 million) and a return on sales before tax of 10.2 percent (Q1 2014: 10.8 percent).
By 2020, Audi plans to expand its model range to 60 automobiles. The Ingolstadt-based premium manufacturer has been delivering the new Audi TT Roadster to customers since late March. The next new models to enter the dealerships will be the new RS 3 Sportback, the new Audi R8 and the new Audi Q7, giving Audi additional impetus with the next stage of its model offensive.
The company intends to continue its growth in the full year and to deliver significantly more automobiles of the Audi brand than in 2014. One challenge is the uncertainty relating to the economic environment and the development of key currencies in 2015. At the same time, advance expenditure is growing for new production facilities, innovative technologies and attractive automobiles. Another factor is the significant increase in the intensity of competition in key markets and the technological change within the automotive industry towards alternative drive concepts, in particular to comply with stricter CO2-limits all over the world.
With the targeted volume growth, the Audi Group’s revenue will rise moderately, depending on the economic conditions. The company anticipates an operating return on sales within the strategic target corridor of eight to ten percent.