Proton Holding’s chairman, Datuk Mohd Nadzmi Mohd Salleh has said he will reveal the outcome of the recent strategic discussions with Germany’s Volkswagen group within the next two weeks.

“We can confirm that we have been in talks with VW and we will make an announcement in two weeks time,” the chairman said during the release of the company’s fourth-quarter earnings (January-March 2010) on Wednesday.

In recent weeks, there have been reports in the local media that the two companies have agreed a strategic partnership that goes beyond contract assembly, with Proton also having agreeing to rebadge a high-end VW model, thought to be the Passat.

The company posted a net profit of MYR 22.8 million (USD 6.93 million) compared with a net loss of MYR 322.97 million in the same quarter a year earlier. Revenue rose from MYR 2.26 billion, from a depressed MYR 1.4 billion a year earlier, helped by brisk sales of the new Saga, Exora and Persona models.

For the full-year, Proton made a net profit of MYR 239.1 million, compared with a net loss MYR 301.8 million in the previous financial year. Revenue increased by 27% to MYR 8.23 billion, from RM6.49 billion.

As well as rising demand, the company attributes the better earnings on an improved product range, tighter cost management, great manufacturing efficiency and improved product quality.

Tony Pugliese