The operating result for the Volkswagen Group is “significantly higher than market expectations for the first quarter of 2017”, the automaker announced.

The preliminary group operating profit for the first quarter is around EUR4.4 bn. That’s about 28% up on Q1 2016’s EUR3.4bn.

“The key difference in the group operating result to market expectations relates among others in particular to improvements in the result of the Volkswagen brand (which came in at around EUR0.9bn versus EUR73m) in the first quarter,” VW said.

“Causal factors for the Volkswagen brand result include the success of new model introductions, particularly the Tiguan, and a strong financial performance in the west European market. Optimised fixed costs also positively affected the result.

“Other brands within the group also contributed to the good performance.

With regards to the group’s operating profit outlook, we continue to anticipate that the operating return on sales will be between 6.0% and 7.0% in 2017.”

This is starting to look like a trend with the German automakers.

Last week, Daimler said it had achieved a group EBIT for the first quarter 2017 that was “significantly above market expectations”.