Volkswagen’s net profit fell 50 percent in the second quarter image

Volkswagen AG, Europe’s largest carmaker said its net profit fell 50 percent in the second quarter compared to the previous year due partly to a difficult European market. However, VW confirmed its full-year forecasts.

Net profit fell to 2.85 billion euros from 5.70 billion in the same quarter a year ago. Revenue rose 8.5 percent to 52.1 billion euros.

The decline shows that the world’s largest car maker by revenue isn’t immune to the downturn in Europe, despite strong sales overseas. But Volkswagen weathers the crisis at home much better than some loss-making peers such as PSA Peugeot Citroen.

However first-half group deliveries, including luxury nameplates Audi and sports-car maker Porsche, were up 5.5 percent to a record 4.7 million, powered by gains in North America and China. On the same time, the Germans are running extra weekend shifts at its main Wolfsburg-based factory during the third quarter to meet excess demand for a revamped Golf hatchback and the Tiguan compact SUV.

“We expect the Volkswagen group’s 2013 sales revenue to exceed the prior-year figure,” a company statement said without being specific.

“Given the ongoing uncertainty in the economic environment, the group’s goal for operating profit is to match the prior-year level in 2013.”