Volkswagen said it expects revenues and operating profit to rise significantly this year fuelled by growth in all regions which has helped operating profit to more than double in the first half of the year.

However, the German carmaker warned that rising commodity prices would damp 2011 earnings gains.

Second-quarter profit before interest and taxes of EUR3.17bn (US$4.55bn) was below analysts’ expectations although sales rose 22% to EUR40.3bn.

VW said in a statement: “We expect the group’s sales revenue and operating profit in 2011 to be significantly higher than the previous year. However, the continuing volatility in interest and exchange rates and commodities prices will weaken the volume effect.”

In Europe market share increased in the first half to 22.8% from 21.1% at the expense of Ford and PSA Peugeot-Citroen. The company has forecast a 5% increase in global deliveries this year after selling a record 7.2m cars, SUVs and vans in 2010. VW sold over 4m vehicles between January and June for the first time.

Strong orders for the Golf and Tiguan as well as Audi‘s A6 sedan and SUVs, have prompted VW to expand production for the third quarter.

Audi, the biggest contributor to VW group profit, suspended summer holidays at its main factory in Ingolstadt to maintain output of the Q5 SUV and has extended around the clock production of the Q7 SUV at its factory in Bratislava, Slovakia, until the end of the year.

VW plans to spend EUR51.6bn on its automotive business over the next five years, with an additional EUR10.6 bn through its two joint ventures in China. The company also plans to hire over 50,000 workers to the end of 2018 as it targets deliveries of over 10m vehicles a year.

Future growth may also come from pending mergers. VW has secured a majority stake in MAN SE after a takeover offer and aims to combine the truckmaker with Scania AB, 71% owned by the VW group.

A planned tie-up with Porsche SE will double output by the sports carmaker to about 200,000 units by 2018.

The group expects global demand for passenger cars this year to outstrip 2010 as positive growth in China and India looks set to continue.