Skoda expects to report nearly 40% annual rise in 2007 pre-tax profits to some CZK20bn ($US1.09bn), a Czech newspaper has quoted the VW unit's head as saying in an interview.

According to Reuters, Skoda chairman Reinhard Jung told Hospodarske Noviny that Skoda expected to maintain its profit and sales performance from the first nine months of the year - its nine-month sales rose by 12.6% to a record 462,429 vehicles.

As reported by just-auto, Skoda said at the end of October it produced 448,400 vehicles in the first nine months of 2007 - a gain of 9.3% on the same period of last year.

Sales in the period totalled CZK161.6bn and the company's profit grew 39.3% year on year, reaching CZK 14.8bn, more than the total profit achieved for 2006 (CZK 14.2 billion).