VW Q1 profit jumps 40% as brand cost cuts materialize

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The famous German automaker Volkswagen manages to score a higher profit report even after the barrage of scandals the auto company had to face this year.

The German auto giant said net profit for the period rose 45% to EUR3.35 billion ($3.66 billion), boosted by cost cutting and higher margins at its VW brand.

VW said the "robust" results were due to volume and mix-related factors, positive exchange rate effects and product cost optimization, along with an improvement in the VW brand's earnings, which rose to $948.3 million from $79.6 million a year earlier.

Despite this, Volkswagen has continued to sell a high number of vehicles with high profit margins, which saw the manufacturer's operating profits rise to €869m from €73m the year before.

VW confirmed that its operating profit increased by 28 percent to 4.4 billion euros in the three-month period, raising the return on sales to 7.8 percent.

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"Our efforts to improve efficiency and productivity across all areas of the company are also paying off", chief executive Matthias Mueller said. The Group's financial result rose by Euro 0.5 billion to Euro 0.3 billion.

Volkswagen said profit at its troubled core division soared in the first quarter, a sign that long-overdue cost cuts are materialising as the carmaker pushes a post-dieselgate strategic shift. It's also starting to weed out a convoluted sales structure. In addition, we will continue to systematically promote our TOGETHER - Strategy 2025 future program and focus on the Volkswagen brand's Future Pact and cost discipline across the entire Group.

Revenues at the group, whose stable of 12 brands ranges from luxury Audi to generalist VW and lower-end Skoda, grew 10% to €56.2 bn. Over the next five years, the German auto giant plans to invest about 9 billion euros on battery-powered and hybrid cars, triple its previous spending level. The expansion of the global model and technology portfolio in the period under review also led to higher depreciation and amortization charges.

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