Volkswagen Group has posted Q1 operating profit at €4.6 billion, down 20% on last year. The company said the drop reflected slower sales, brand mix and higher fixed costs in the period.

First quarter sales for the VW Group were put at 2.1 million units, down by 2% on Q1 2023.

VW maintained its outlook for 2024 sales. The Volkswagen Group expects sales revenue in 2024 to exceed the previous year’s figure by up to 5 percent. The operating return on sales is expected to range between 7.0 percent and 7.5 percent.

However, the company warned that challenges will arise ‘from the economic situation, the increasing intensity of competition, volatile commodity, energy and foreign exchange markets, and more stringent emissions-related requirements’.

Arno Antlitz, CFO & COO Volkswagen Group, said the Q1 results were expected and that after a slow start to the year, the order bank is strong. “As expected, our first quarter results show a slow start to the year. We remain confident of achieving our financial targets for 2024. A strong March, the solid order bank and the improving order intake in the past months are encouraging and should already have a positive impact in the second quarter,” he said.

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“We expect additional momentum over the course of the year from the launch of more than 30 new models across all brands. At the same time the effects our efficiency programs will gradually unfold as the year progresses. In this context, it will be particularly important to vigorously counteract the increase in fixed costs and exercise investment discipline.”