First half Volkswagen Group sales revenue rose 4.9% year on year to EUR125.2bn (H1 2018: EUR119.4bn) and operating profit - before special items -improved by 1.9% to EUR10bn (9.8) and operating return on sales - again before special items - amounted to 8% (8.2).

Unit volume fell but sales revenue was boosted especially by better mix and price positioning of passenger cars and good results at the financial services division and at truck unit TRATON.

VW said profit of the Chinese joint venture companies "fell only slightly in a shrinking general market".

VW passenger cars sales increased 3.4% to EUR44.1bn. Operating profit before special items rose to EUR2.3bn (2.1).

"The diesel issue gave rise to special items of EUR0.4bn," VW said.

Audi sales revenue fell to EUR28.8bn (31.2) and operating profit was down to EUR2.3bn (2.8) due to new models and phase outs, WLTP-related lower sales volume, higher expenditure for new products and technologies, cost increases and exchange rates.

Skoda boosted sales revenue by 10.8% to EUR10.2bn. Operating profit rose EUR3m to EUR824m.

SEAT brand sales revenue rose 8.3% to EUR6.3bn.

Bentley sales revenue was EUR835m (757) and operating profit of EUR57m beat last year's EUR80m loss.

Porsche increased sales revenue to EUR12.2bn (11.2). Operating profit before special items rose by 2.5% to EUR2.1bn. The "diesel issue" skimmed off EUR0.5bn in special items.

Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles revenue rose 2.6% to EUR6.5bn but operating profit declined 10.8% to EUR506m due to higher fixed and development costs.

Outlook

The group maintained 2019 deliveries would be slightly higher than in 2018 "despite market conditions that remain challenging".

"The main challenges relate to the uncertain economic environment, the growing intensity of competition, volatile exchange rate trends and the more stringent registration requirements".

Sales revenue is expected up to 5% higher than in 2018 while operating profit - before those special items - should see a return on sales between 6.5% and 7.5%.

A commercial vehicles operating return between 6.0 and 7.0% is expected.