FRANKFURT - Volkswagen AG will have met its four billion euro pre-tax profit goal when it reports figures for 2002 later this week, an industry source told Reuters on Monday.
Asked whether Volkswagen's pre-tax profit result for 2002 would have a four at the beginning, the source said: "You can be 99.9 percent sure."
The figures have yet to be formally approved by the board.
The group, which is suffering from an aging product range as it battles weak demand and unfavorable exchange rates, said in October it aimed to post a pre-tax figure of about four billion euros for the full year. A Reuters poll of 26 analysts forecast on average a result of 3.96 billion euros.
A company source said earlier VW would publish its 2002 results on Wednesday morning.
The group is depending on its recently-launched Touran minivan to boost its sales this year at a time when its top-selling Golf and Passat models are beginning to look long in the tooth alongside fresher-faced rivals.
The company, whose shares have outperformed the European sector by more than 4 percent since the start of the year, faces tough competition from peers such as Renault, which also is trying to run down older models ahead of new launches.
Renault last week said tough cost-cutting and buoyant sales outside Europe had powered its core profits higher last year, although it disappointed investors with a cautious outlook.
PSA Peugeot Citroen, another of VW's main rivals, last week said its 2002 operating profit also jumped last year.
Both companies warned that the western European auto market could fall as much as about 2 percent this year, or further in a worst case scenario.