Volkswagen#;s luxury car unit Audi boosted 2001 profit 4.8 percent to a sixth consecutive record as it increased sales and cut investment, Bloomberg News said.

Bloomberg said Audi#;s net income rose to 769 million euros ($US665 million) from 734 million euros in 2000, sales rose 10 percent to 22 billion euros and investment dropped 11 percent to 2.15 billion euros.

Audi sales increased in Germany and Western Europe as demand for high- priced vehicles increased even in a slowing economy, the news agency said, adding that Audi expects 2002 sales to continue to outpace the industry.

Bloomberg said Audi vehicle sales rose 13 percent to 109,600 vehicles in January and February. German sales rose 5.5 percent to 35,400 units, Bloomberg added, while in Europe outside of Germany, sales rose 22 percent to 49,200 units.

The company last week restated plans to invest 11.5 billion euros up to the end of 2006 on new models and factories, an increase of about one-third over the previous five-year plan, Bloomberg said.

Seventy percent of Audi’s investment spending last year was on developing new models, Bloomberg News said.