The Volkswagen Group has shrugged off the strain of the Dieselgate emissions scandal, growing its profits in the first half of 2017 to €8.9 billion (£7.9bn), a €1.4bn (£1.2bn) improvement on the same period in 2016.
The group’s improvements were boosted by growing sales, with deliveries increasing to 5,156,000 in the first half of 2017, a 0.8% improvement on the first half of 2016.
Within the group, the biggest earner was Audi, which recorded €2.7bn (£2.4bn) in profits, although that represented no growth on the brand’s 2016’s first half. Conversely, the Volkswagen passenger car brand grew profits to €1.8bn (£1.6bn), doubling its operating profits.
Skoda and Seat represented the biggest improvers within the group, with the former contributing €860 million (£767m), a 25.5% improvement on 2016’s first half, and the latter adding €130m (£116m), a 40.9% boost on its previous results.
Bentley and Porsche also improved, with the British luxury car maker adding €13m (£11m) – a vast improvement on its €22m (£19m) loss in 2016 – and the German sports car brand contributing €2.1bn (£1.8bn), an improvement of €300,000 (£268,000).
The story was similar for Volkswagen’s commercial vehicle arm and the Scania and MAN lorry businesses, with profits growing by 49.8%, 18% and 4% respectively. Volkswagen Finance increased its operating profit to €1.2bn (£1bn), a year-on-year rise of 17%.
Volkswagen Group chairman Matthias Müller said of the brand’s 2017 results: "The remarkable half-year result and the excellent development with regard to deliveries in June are confirmation that the Volkswagen Group is on the right path again.
“We are grateful for the growing amount of trust we are enjoying among customers and on the capital markets. The solid footing of our operating business serves as the basis for our work, namely to transform the Volkswagen Group from a pure car maker into a world-leading provider of sustainable mobility.”
The group predicts that its profits will continue to improve across 2017, enabling it to hit targets for a 4% annual improvement in profits compared with the year before. This comes in the face of financial payouts and growing costs relating to Volkswagen's Dieselgate scandal, which has recently grown to include investigations into the Audi and Porsche brands.