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CZECH REPUBLIC: Skoda ups full year forecast - report

By just-auto.com editorial team | 5 November 2003

Unit sales at Volkswagen AG's Czech unit Skoda Auto edged marginally higher in the first nine months, prompting the country's largest company to raise its full-year forecast, Reuters reported.

Skoda reportedly said on Tuesday its January-September unit sales rose 0.7% to 335,597 cars, an improvement from a 0.9% dip in the first half.

"We expect that the brand will further develop positively despite the economic trend and that last year's sales results will be exceeded," Skoda vice-chairman Winfried Vahland said in a statement cited by Reuters, which noted that Skoda sold 445,525 cars last year.

Reuters said the Czech Republic's biggest company by turnover and top exporter had earlier reported a 5% fall in nine-month net profit to 1.47 billion crowns ($US53 million) on sales of 111 billion crowns but did not comment on the financial results.

It said unit sales have been growing year-on-year for the past six months, driven by growth in the Czech Republic's fellow central European countries joining the European Union next May, Reuters added.

Sales in Hungary soared 43.6% to 11,672, sales in Poland, the biggest country in the region, jumped 24.9% to 30,832 but Germany remained the main export market with 52,613 cars sold, up 3.1%, Reuters said.

Sales in all western Europe dipped 2.2%, outperforming the overall market, the company said, according to Reuters.

However, Reuters noted, domestic sales dropped 1.9% to 54,678, below the overall market growth of 4.6%, reported by the Czech Car Importers' Association.