Audi almost doubled profit in 2010, company says

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Audi, a luxury car unit of Volkswagen, posted Tuesday a 2010 net profit that was almost double the previous year's and gave an upbeat outlook for 2011.

Audi's net profit leapt to 2.63 billion euros ($3.66 billion), from 1.35 billion in 2009, on sales that gained 18.8 percent to 35.4 billion euros, a statement said.

The company's operating profit was more than double the 2009 level at 3.34 billion euros, it added, while unit sales were 15 percent higher at 1.09 million vehicles.

Audi was progressing in several regions around the world, and not only in China where sales jumped by 43.4 percent to 227,938 vehicles.

German sales were essentially stable at 229,157 automobiles while deliveries in the United States grew by a faster pace than the market in general to 82,716 the company said.

A slowdown was noted however at Lamborghini, the very expensive sports car VW has placed within the Audi division, and which saw sales fall by 15 percent to 1,302 vehicles last year.

Heading into 2011, the group "is on its way to achieving the most successful first quarter in its history in terms of sales," marketing director Peter Schwarzenbauer was quoted as saying.

"The continued growth in the United States is based on a solid foundation - and shows that we are strengthening our position in the premium market," he added.

Audi has set a sales target of 1.2 million autos this year.

© 2011 AFP

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