Skoda has recorded a first quarter operating profit of CZK2.6bn (US$135.5m), a substantial growth on 2009 Q1 of CZK787m.

The Czech manufacturer delivered 178,000 vehicles – up 25% – driven particularly by the Chinese market which was up 121% at 42,700 models.

Central Europe grew 12.9% to 28,000 units, where the main factor was the domestic market – up 26% to 13,200 vehicles. Key model lines in terms of growth were the Octavia, Superb and the Yeti.

Revenues of Škoda Auto for Q1 totalled CZK52.5bn billion, up 32%. “The sales results show the markets in Western Europe are recovering from economic recession,” said Škoda Auto board of directors member for sales and marketing, Reinhard Fleger.

“The only exception is Germany, where the automotive market slumped by nearly 25% during the first three months compared to the same period last year. The decision to produce vehicles in China is apparently paying off, as the country continues growing dynamically.

“Despite the continuing uncertainty in markets worldwide, we expect the number of deliveries during the rest of this year to remain higher than in 2009.”

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By GlobalData

Skoda owner Volkswagen has also launched ‘full-cycle’ production of the Skoda Fabia at its Russian Kaluga plant. Full-cycle includes welding and painting.

Volkswagen started full-cycle production at the Kaluga plant in October 2009 and currently assembles Volkswagen Tiguan and Skoda Octavia cars there.