Frankfurt – German carmaker Volkswagen said on Thursday it was back in profit in the third quarter thanks to cost discipline and a rebound in global sales markets led by China after severe restrictions on activity were lifted in the early stage of the epidemic.
Profit after tax was 2.75 billion euros ($ 3.23 billion), down 31% from 3.99 billion euros in the same quarter from July to September of last year, before Covid-19, but much better than losing 1.53 billion euros in the second quarter. .
Car sales increased in September compared to the same month a year earlier for the first time this year, by 3.3%. The main driver of the recovery was China, the largest single market for the Volkswagen Group, with sales up 3% over the quarter from July to September as a whole. Overall, sales fell by just 1.1 percent in the third quarter of the pre-virus period, to 2.61 million cars across the group’s brands, which include in addition to Volkswagen Seat, Audi, Skoda and Porsche.
“Cost control pays off,” Chief Financial Officer Frank Witter said in a conference call with reporters, and pointed to the company’s strong cash flow, which gives it the resources needed to meet the challenges that drive change in the auto industry, such as the electric cars needed to meet emissions requirements and new digital services. The company says it expects its full-year operating profit to be “significantly lower” than it was in 2019 but remains in positive territory.
Copyright 2020 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.