Audi Profit Falls, But Still In Black

BERLIN (AP) -- German luxury automaker Audi AG said Friday its earnings for the first six months of the year fell 25 percent as sales slipped nearly 10 percent but, unlike most of its peers, it remained profitable.

The unit of Volkswagen AG said its first-half net profit was "in the region" of euro697 million ($979.5 million) compared with euro930 million in the first six months of 2008. Sales totaled euro14.5 billion, down 16 percent from euro17.4 billion last year.

Second quarter figures were not immediately available.

From January to June the number of cars sold fell 9.7 percent to 466,000 compared with 516,219 a year ago.

Despite the declines, Ingolstadt-based Audi remained profitable at a time when many other automakers have been reporting losses.

"We're very satisfied with the result for the first half year, but are keeping our feet on the ground because we expect to face some difficulties in the second half of the year," said board member Axel Strotbek.

The company's net cash flow for the first six months came in at euro1.4 billion, slightly lower than euro1.5 billion in the same period last year, the company said.

Parent company Volkswagen on Thursday said that its net profit for the second quarter plummeted 83 percent on lower sales of its cars as consumers around the world put off big purchases during the recession.

In the first six months of the year, Volkswagen said its net profit slid nearly 81 percent to euro494 million compared with euro2.5 billion in the first six months of 2008.

Audi shares closed up less than 1 percent at euro415.99 in Frankfurt.

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