The German automaker, the second largest in the world and the biggest in Europe, announced it would keep its current forecast for the operating profit in 2015 even after it reported last week record financial results for last year.
The carmaker announced that after reaching an operating margin of 6.3% last year it might have to contend with a regression in 2015 – giving a range of 5.5 to 6.5 percent. “Given the subdued growth prospects in regions outside China, there is no guarantee that 2015 will be a successful year, either for the industry or for VW,” commented finance boss Hans Dieter Poetsch. According to the executives, the numerous geopolitical risks and dwindling demand in crucial markets might have a negative impact on the group’s auto business. “I find the outlook very conservative. It’s almost identical to last year’s although currency markets are more positive than a year ago and demand for cars is also a touch better,” believes Metzler Bank automotive analyst Juergen Pieper.
The company said it was gearing up for a difficult year due to the lower prospects of the namesake VW brand – which roughly equates to about 60 percent of the total sales – after last month deliveries slowed for the fourth straight month as demand shrunk in key markets, such as Europe and China. While sticking to its 2015 group operating margin target, the automaker did lift its forecast for revenue, predicting it could soar past last year’s record 202 billion euro figure by as much as 4 percent on modest increases for the total deliveries.