Audi, Volkswagen lead VW divisions in first quarter

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Automobile makers Audi and Volkswagen were responsible for almost all of parent VW group's first quarter operating profit, while the Spanish division Seat trimmed its losses, figures showed on Thursday.

Audi remained the most profitable of VW's seven car brands and its main source of revenue, with a 31 percent increase in operating profit to 478 million euros (633 million dollars) on 6.7 billion euros in sales.

The VW brand posted a turnaround from the same period in 2009, with an operating profit of 416 million euros, compared with a loss of 279 million a year earlier, and 18.6 billion euros in sales.

Seat, the group's weakest mass-market brand, cut an operating loss by 24 percent to 110 million euros, while the luxury Bentley division posted a loss of 16 million euros in the first three months of the year.

The figures do not take into account sales in China, despite it being the VW group's biggest single market, because they are made via ventures with local partners and recorded in the parent group's results as participations.

Those contributed 286 million euros to VW's bottom line in the first quarter, up from 101 million euros in the same period of 2009.

Last week, VW posted an overall quarterly net profit of 473 million euros, an increase of 94.6 percent, and an operating profit of 848 million euros.

© 2010 AFP

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