Volkswagen on Friday said 2010 "was the best year in the history of the group" after booking operating profit up from EUR1.9bn in 2009 to EUR7.1bn on sales of EUR126.9bn (EUR105.2bn).

“Volkswagen already provided impressive proof of its robustness during the crisis and our group is now following that up by leading the field during the economic recovery as well,” chairman Martin Winterkorn said in a statement.

“Our broad and environmentally-friendly model range coupled with our financial strength and the clear strategic orientation of our multi-brand group have contributed to this success. Volkswagen is following a solid, profitable growth course.

Profit before tax was EUR9bn (EUR7.7bn).

Group deliveries rose 13.7% to a record 7.2m and the automotive division’s net liquidity rose to EUR 18.6bn from EUR10.6bn)

"We expect the group’s sales revenue and operating profit in 2011 to be higher than the previous year. However, the continuing volatility in interest and exchange rate trends and commodities prices will weaken the positive volume effect. Disciplined cost and investment management and the continuous optimization of our processes remain core components of our 'Strategy 2018'," the automaker said.