• Audi takes off with best 1Q performance

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    THE Audi Group announced it has posted its best first quarter ever with more than 412,000 deliveries made, generating revenues of 12,951 million euros and an operating profit of 1,314 million euros. The operating return on sales reached 10.1 percent.

    Audi said it progressed in all regions worldwide in the first three months of 2014. Deliveries rose 11.7 percent to 412,846 units, compared to 369,494 units during the same period in 2013. This led revenues to grow 12,951 euros, up from 11,734 million euros in 2013, or 10.4-percent more.

    “Despite high up-front spending on new products and technologies and the expansion of our international production network, we have generated an operating profit of 1,314 million euros in the first quarter,” said Axel Strotbek, a member of the board of management at Audi AG. He explained that the operating return on sales of 10.1 percent is again just above the strategic target corridor—a further evidence of the company’s high profitability.

    Audi said its pre-tax profit in the first quarter was 1,398 million euros.

    Anticipating further growth, Audi said it intends to take on around 2,000 experts this year in Germany alone. The new employees will be recruited mainly for the lightweight construction, connectivity and electric mobility fields of expertise, or be involved in the expansion of the international production network. In addition, the company said it will be offering apprenticeships to around 750 young people in 2014.

    Audi said it is planning to grow in the entire 2014, and will introduce 17 new models and derivative versions into the market this year. It cited that its S3 Sedan and A3 Cabriolet are already in showrooms while the new A3 Sportback g-tron means that customers can already drive in a largely CO2-neutral way.

    For 2014 overall, Audi said it expects a slight increase in revenue to more than 50 billion euros.

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