Industry & Business

Volkswagen posts first quarterly loss in at least 15 years

Volkswagen posts first quarterly loss in at least 15 years

October 28
09:31 2015

Volkswagen-logo-on-2015-Volkswagen-Golf-SportWagen-02Volkswagen today posted its first quarterly loss in at least 15 years.

The German group reported a third-quarter operating loss of €3.48 billion, in line with a €3.47 billion loss forecast in a Reuters poll of analysts.

The loss comes as the company was hit by costs related to its rigging of diesel emissions tests, and lowered its profit outlook.

The company set aside €6.7 billion in the July-September period to cover costs related to the manipulations affecting 11 million cars globally, up slightly from the €6.5 billion announced a week after the scandal became public on September 18.

As a result, the German group said it now expected its operating profit to drop “significantly below” last year’s record €12.7 billion.

Excluding costs of the scandal, the carmaker still expects its group operating margin to come in between 5.5-6.5% this year, after 6.3% in 2014.

Volkswagen plans to cut investments by €1 billion a year at its core division, which accounts for 5 million cars to be recalled. Luxury division Audi, source of about 40% of VW group profit, will also cut planned spending.

Volkswagen confirmed the loss it reported today was its first quarterly loss in at least 15 years but, due to accounting changes, was unable to say precisely when the last loss occurred.

VW may need to set aside more money for measures to stabilise sales if deliveries take a hit from the scandal, chief executive Matthias Mueller has said.

Steps could include discounts on new cars if owners turn in old models as well as cheap loans and incentives to dealers to buy back older cars.

Group deliveries, which also include premium brands Audi and Porsche, slid 1.5% in September to 885,300 cars and fell 3.4% in the third quarter to 2.39 million cars.

This causing VW to drop behind Japanese rival Toyota in nine-month global auto sales charts after clinching the top spot three months earlier.

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