Seat expects to deliver an operating profit in 2007 - one year ahead of schedule - as a viability plan introduced in 2005 comes to fruition, chairman Erich Schmitt said during the Frankfurt show.

The Volkswagen-owned company also hopes to sell 800,000 cars worldwide by 2018, up from 419,000 units sold last year when the firm posted a EU92m loss, according to Spanish newspaper La Vanguardia.

"All the economic indicators signal that the company will post an operating profit in 2007," Schmitt said as Seat unveiled a new three-door compact SUV called Tribu and the 'eco friendly' Ibiza Ecomotive.

Seat's optimism comes as the company has seen strong sales of its new Leon sports sedan and bread-winning Ibiza models. In a major win for the company, Seat struck a deal with Spanish unions to dismiss 10% of its workforce by 2010. The move is in addition to 650 job cuts made in 2005 when the company faced a sales crisis.

Despite the buzz, Diego Rejon, a Seat official with trades union CGT, told just-auto Seat's profit forecasts seem optimistic. He said: "This smells like financial engineering to me," adding that sales of some Seat cars, such as the Altea crossover, have disappointed and that only 800 of the 1,600 workers will leave in the new redundancy plan this year, limiting labour savings.

Rejon said Seat has cheated workers, fabricating its crisis to pressure unions to accept its job cuts.

"We have come to suspect that they made up the crisis to get rid of as many people as possible. They have a strong business and viable sales plan. They just wanted to save as much cost as possible."

Seat officials could not be reached for comment.

Ivan Castano