BERLIN (Bloomberg) -- Volkswagen AG said operating profit and deliveries may rise “significantly” this year as demand increases in major markets and the euro's decline against the dollar helps sales abroad.
Five-month sales of cars and sport-utility vehicles, as well as operating profit, “considerably outperformed expectations,” Volkswagen said today in a statement. The expansion “looks set to continue” in June, the company said.
“Volkswagen is focusing spending on the lucrative growth markets and its vast model range already now beats that of many competitors,” said Stefan Bratzel, director of the Center of Automotive at the University of Applied Sciences in Bergisch-Gladbach, Germany. “They seem extremely well-positioned for any post-recession market revival.”
Volkswagen is targeting a second consecutive year of record deliveries as it adds 60 models, including upgrades, in 2010. The carmaker will build its 10th plant in China as part of a plan to double production capacity in its biggest market to 3 million vehicles within four years, VW said on June 9.
China, where Volkswagen is investing 6 billion euros ($7.4 billion), is critical to CEO Martin Winterkorn's goal of surpassing Toyota Motor Corp., the world's biggest carmaker, in sales and profitability by 2018. VW's sales in the world's biggest auto market surged 48 percent in the first five months to 777,800 vehicles.
“Volkswagen expects a good first half of 2010,” the manufacturer said, although development in the second half “still entails uncertainties.”
The company delivered 6.29 million cars and SUVs last year and reported operating profit of 1.9 billion euros.