Volkswagen Reports Jump In 9-Month Earnings

BERLIN (AP) -- Car maker Volkswagen AG said Friday that earnings for the year's first nine months increased strongly thanks to big gains on investments and a 19.9 percent rise in revenue.

The Volkswagen group's profit after tax for the January-September period rose to nearly euro4.03 billion ($5.6 billion) from euro655 million a year earlier, the company said.

Pretax profit was up to euro5.44 billion from euro1.07 billion. Volkswagen pointed to "positive effects from equity-accounted investments" and from measuring rights related to fellow German car maker Porsche, with which it plans to merge.

Revenue was up to euro92.55 billion from euro77.16 billion as the group, which also includes brands such as Audi, Skoda and Seat, saw total vehicle deliveries climb by 12.9 percent to more than 5.4 million.

Operating profit rose to euro4.83 billion from euro1.52 billion.

Wolfsburg-based Volkswagen didn't immediately give third-quarter figures. Its full quarterly report is due next Wednesday.

The company said China, Western Europe, North and South America had continued to drive demand higher. Volkswagen, like its German rivals, has benefited particularly from strong growth in China this year.

Volkswagen said it continues to "anticipate that our deliveries to customers will be significantly higher than in 2009, due among other factors to the positive business growth in China."

The first nine months' overall growth "will not continue as strongly in the fourth quarter," Volkswagen said in a statement -- although it added that it still believes revenue and operating profit for the full year will "perform positively."

"In addition, exchange rate effects will have a positive effect on earnings," the company said.

Volkswagen shares were 0.6 percent higher in afternoon Frankfurt trading at euro94.30.
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