The Volkswagen Group has reported new records for deliveries, sales revenue and profit last year.

"For the Volkswagen Group, 2007 was by far the most successful year in the company's history," said Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn, Chairman of the Board of Management of Volkswagen AG, at the presentation of the Company's 2007 financial results in Wolfsburg on Thursday.

"We have impressively demonstrated the unique potential that this Company has to offer. This is also reflected in very concrete form in our key figures."

Sales revenue grew by 3.8% to EUR108.9bn, and operating profit more than trebled to around EUR6.2bn. At EUR6.5bn, the target of EUR5.1bn profit before tax originally planned for 2008 was substantially exceeded.

"This significant improvement in earnings is a result of the success of our products and our strict cost and investment discipline," said CFO Hans Dieter Pötsch. With a return on investment of 9.5% in the Automotive Division - following 2.1% in the previous year - Volkswagen not only earned its cost of capital, but also exceeded its own minimum required rate of return of 9%.
With around 6.2m vehicles delivered worldwide, the group beat the previous year's figure by 8% and set a new all-time record.

The Board of Management has defined ambitious goals for the future. "We want to deliver eight million group vehicles to our customers by 2011," Winterkorn said.

VW said the group will focus systematically on mobility solutions for individual countries. "We will be tailoring our vehicles precisely to regional customer requirements." The Volkswagen Group also wants to extend its position in the established markets in Western Europe, Germany and North America.

To accomplish this, more than 20 additional new models will be launched in the period up to 2010. The group will significantly expand its model portfolio with this product rollout, and will occupy segments such as SUVs, vans and pickups more actively than before, the company said.

The new model rollout will be accompanied by a significant increase in productivity, which is expected to rise by around 10% a year in automobile production. The "Volkswagen Way" and the continuous improvement process it incorporates are key instruments that the Group will systematically drive forward and use.

Winterkorn also welcomed the announcement that the Supervisory Board of Porsche Automobil Holding SE has endorsed an increase in the company's shareholding in Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft: "We look forward to even closer cooperation soon."

Winterkorn is confident about the rest of the year: "Overall, we expect the Volkswagen Group's 2008 operating profit to exceed the 2007 level," Winterkorn said.

However, there will be no support from global economic growth because expectations are for lower growth rates than in 2007. "The environment we are operating in is not making it any easier for us," said Winterkorn. "The Volkswagen Group has a medium-term target for return on investment in the Automotive Division of over 10 percent. A condition for this is continued disciplined management of costs and investments," according to Pötsch.