VW Czech unit Skoda Auto on Thursday reported record sales and production in 2006 despite market stagnation in central Europe.

Skoda Auto, the Czech Republic’s largest exporter, told Reuters that its sales rose 11.7% year on year in 2006 to 549,667 vehicles, while production was up 12.6% at 556,347 units. Sales revenues rose 8.7% to 203.7bn crowns ($US9.5bn), helping operational profit jump 34.5% to 14.6bn crowns.

“The year 2006 was the most successful year for the Skoda Auto group in its history,” board member Holger Kintscher told the news agency.

Skoda also said its workforce grew in 2006 by 2.1% to 23,034 as it added a fourth model, the MPV Roomster, the report added.