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VW Group says record profits will boost long-term green investment

Volkswagen has revealed record profits for 2008, but warned that it is expecting a dramatic fall in profit this year.

Despite this, the VW Group has pledged it will not slash investment in environmental technology despite the current global car sales slump.

Group chairman Dr Martin Winterkorn confirmed this morning that the firm made €6.3bn (£4.4bn) in post-tax profits in 2008, a rise of almost 14 per cent. But he insisted that investment in new, cleaner products remains key to the company's future success.

Winterkorn said, "The Volkswagen Group remains committed to the goals it has set for 2018 [linked to economic growth and environmental responsibility]. Innovative and environmentally friendly products will continue to be the key to the company’s future."

"You can only prepare for life after the current period if you keep your innovation activities running at top speed," he added.

Along with many car manufacturers, the VW Group enjoyed strong sales in the first three quarters of 2008, before suffering a dramatic drop-off in sales at the tail end of the year.

VW Group sales figures

  • Sales revenue rose 4.5 per cent to 113.8 billion Euros
  • Operating profits rose 3 per cent to 6.3 billion Euros
  • Post-tax profit rose 13.7 per cent to 4.7 billion Euros
  • Car sales rose 1.3 per cent to 6.3 million vehicles
  • VW Group sales by company

  • VW increased profit by 40 per cent to 2.7 billion Euros
  • Audi raised profits by 4 per cent to 2.8 billion Euros
  • Skoda suffered a 21 per cent fall in profits of to 565 million Euros
  • Bentley recorded a 94 per cent drop in profits to 10 million Euros
  • Seat lost 78 million Euros, down from a profit of 8 million Euros in 2007
  • Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, Volkswagen Financial Services and Scania also contributed more than 1.5 billion Euros in profit
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