FRANKFURT -- The financing arm of Volkswagen AG increased its profits slightly in 2004 and forecast flat earnings in the year ahead thanks to a weak car market, the division said Thursday.
"If we stabilize what we have now achieved, then we haven't done a bad job in this difficult cars climate," said Burkhard Breiing, chief of the VW subsidiary, commenting on the current year.
The head of Volkswagen Financial Services said that without an economic upswing or higher consumer demand the business would not be able to improve profits significantly.
Profits at the business rose by 3.6 percent to $448 million in 2004.
The finance arm has become an important part of VW, saving it from going into the red in the first nine months of last year.