Audi Group set records for deliveries, revenue and earnings in fiscal 2011 with vehicle deliveries up 19.2% to 1.3m, revenue rising 24.4% to EUR44.1bn and operating profit up over 60% to more than EUR5.3bn. Return on sales climbed from 9.4% to 12.1%.

Cue chairman Rupert Stadler in a statement: "Never before have we had such a large increase in deliveries in a single year. 2011 was the most successful year in the history of our company. We want to continue on this path in 2012 and grow more strongly than the market as a whole."

Global industry sales are expected to rise by about 4%.

Profits were boosted by a higher-quality model mix. The share of revenue generated by the A6, A7, A8 and Q7 model lines in the full-size and luxury segments rose from 25 to 38% between 2009 and 2011 while Audi expanded into the lower segments from 2011 with the A1.

Cost of sales, distribution costs and administration expenses rose at a lower rate than revenue development in 2011 thanks to ongoing process and cost improvements. "The significant increase in operating profit is attributable in particular to overall improvement in cost structures," the automaker said.

Pretax profit rose 66% to over EUR6bn. Profit sharing will see each German employee receiving an average EUR8,251.

"Assuming that there are no major changes in the underlying economic situation, the company plans to generate an operating profit for 2012 in line with the level attained in the record-breaking year 2011. In particular, the attractive, young product range will have a positive impact on earnings performance here," Audi said.