Volkswagen has reported profit before tax of $3.5bn (€3.15bn) for the first quarter of the year - a 19.3% fall compared with 2015. Sales revenue at the troubled carmaker, which has become embroiled in an international emissions scandal, were also down 3.4% to €49.5bn. Chief executive Matthias Mueller said he was “satisfied” with the start of “what will undoubtedly be a demanding” 2016. VW admitted last year that it installed software to cheat US emissions tests. It has already set aside more than €16bn to pay for costs arising from the scandal.
We once again managed to limit the economic effects of the diesel issue and achieve respectable results under difficult conditions.
Volkswagen Group has warned that it expects sales revenue for the whole of 2016 to be up to 5% lower than last year. It cited challenging economic conditions in South America and Russia, exchange rate fluctuations, and the ongoing expenses associated with recalling and fixing cars which contained illegal software designed to trick emissions tests. In Russia, the plummeting rouble and the low price of oil contributed to a 35% fall in sales of VW vehicles, while a deep recession in Brazil led to a 17% drop in sales there. By other measures, VW said it was able to post an operating profit rise to €3.4 billion ($3.8 billion) from 3.3 billion a year earlier, including €300 million of “currency-related adjustments” to provisions for the emissions crisis.