Volkswagen CFO expects worse first quarter this year image

Volkswagen predicts the first quarter of this year will be worse than a year earlier, adding to another forecast last week that said the carmaker’s 2013 operating profit will stagnate.

According to Volkswagen Chief Financial Officer Hans Dieter Poetsch quoted by Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung, the first quarter 2013 “will be clearly below” the first quarter of last year. He didn’t provide other details.

As Europe’s auto market shrinks even further, unchanged earnings this year would mark the first time since 2009 that VW’s annual operating profit hasn’t risen. On February 22, VW revised downward its 2013 profit forecast from a year-old prediction in its annual report.

Poetsch said in the interview with the German newspaper that VW is counting on the luxury-car segment and on growth in China and the United States to help counter declining demand in Europe, where its competitors are posting losses. He added that more than 50 percent of the group’s profit this year will be generated by its Audi and Porsche brands.

Volkswagen’s merger with Porsche may generate 1 billion euros in cost savings, more than the company’s previous prediction of 700 million euros a year. Car registrations in Europe in January were the lowerst for the month since records began in 1990, industry group ACEA said.

Source: Automotive News Europe