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Audi set for 12th record-breaking year in a row


Audi set new records for all its key figures such as revenue, earnings, vehicle sales and production in the first six months of 2007. This is made clear by the car manufacturer’s Interim Report, published today.
“We are progressing at full speed towards our twelfth record-breaking year in a row and are on course to become the most successful premium car manufacturer in the world by 2015”, remarked Rupert Stadler, Chairman of the Board of Management of AUDI AG, at the presentation of the first-half figures.

Stadler was also optimistic about the full year: “We will end 2007 with record figures not just for vehicle sales and production output, but also for the key financial ratios.” Stadler continued: “We have thus established a sound basis on which to tackle the second half of this year. Events at Audi in the latter six months will be dominated by the launch of the new Audi A4 saloon, which accounts for a substantial share of our sales volume.”

In the first half of 2007, the company boosted revenue compared with the prior-year period by 12.4 percent to the record figure of EUR 17.378 (15.454) billion. The operating result rose by 39.5 percent to EUR 1.014 billion (EUR 727 million). The profit before tax for the group grew to EUR 1.105 billion (EUR 661 million) – a rise of 67.2 percent. The profit after tax of EUR 679 (407) million was 66.8 percent up on the corresponding figure for the previous year. The disproportionately sharp rise in earnings compared with revenue is also reflected by the increase in the rate of return before tax from 4.3 to 6.4 percent.

Stadler added: “The key figures for the first half of the year impressively demonstrate what we understand by profitable growth. We have achieved a very healthy balance between unit sales, revenue and profit, and this reflects the quality of our business.”

The head of Audi further quoted the cash flow statement as further evidence of the first term’s success. He pointed out that Audi has been working systematically on improving its cash flow over recent years. Audi boosted its cash flow from operating activities by EUR 583 million to EUR 2.912 billion (up 25 percent). Net liquidity has thus risen by EUR 2.429 billion to EUR 7.122 billion (up 51.8 percent) since June 30, 2006. Capital investments by the Audi Group rose by 7.2 percent in the first half of 2007 compared with the prior-year period, to EUR 892 (832) million. Investments into new products accounted for around 80 percent of this expenditure. Audi invested almost 90 percent of the total in its German locations.

For the first time in the history of the company, the brand with the four rings delivered over half a million vehicles over a period of six months. Over 509,000 vehicles were delivered to customers worldwide – up 9.8 percent year on year (2006: 463,508). In the first half of 2007, Audi achieved record sales in 41 markets worldwide. Up to June, Audi had handed over some 372,300 vehicles to customers in Europe, 7.4 percent more than in the first half of last year (346,712). In Europe, Audi achieved record sales in 22 individual markets.

Most notably, these include Great Britain with sales of 55,557 vehicles in the first half of the year (up 19.3 percent; 2006: 46,560), Italy, where sales reached 32,160 vehicles (up 6.4 percent; 2006: 30,218), Spain with 31,732 units sold (up 5.1 percent; 2006: 30,188), France with vehicle sales reaching 27,162 in the first half (up 8.8 percent; 2006: 24,961) and Sweden, where 9,071 units were sold in the first six months (up 25.0 percent; 2006: 7,258). Audi achieved its biggest growth rates during the first six months in Russia. Unit sales there rose by 76.3 percent to 7,272 vehicles (2006: 4,124).

In the USA, the third largest non-domestic market, sales totalled 45,711 vehicles from January to June, an increase of 13 percent (2006: 40,455). In China (including Hong Kong), Audi’s second largest non-domestic market, the company sold 49,267 vehicles in the first half of the year, an increase of 26.9 percent (2006: 38,838). Audi also enjoyed strong growth in Australia and India. Sales in the first half in Australia were up 42.8 percent (3,819 vehicles; 2006: 2,674). In India, where Audi established a National Sales Company this March, unit sales grew by 48.2 percent (206 vehicles; 2006: 139) during the first six months.

Successful growth markets for Audi also include the Middle East: rise in sales there amounted to 31.4 percent, with 3,223 vehicles sold in the first six months (2006: 2,452).

The aim of increasing market share was emphatically achieved in the home market Germany: with a market share of 7.9 percent, the first term saw AUDI AG achieve its highest-ever share of the German premium market. In the record year 2006, this figure came to 7.5 percent. The first few months of this year were still noticeably affected by the increase in VAT in Germany. Nevertheless, Audi delivered 127,112 vehicles to customers, maintaining its sales figures at the high level of the previous year. The overall market declined at a rate of nine percent during this period (down 0.3 percent; 2006: 127,498).

Car production (including Lamborghini) rose by 13.2 percent between January and June 2007 to a record level of 518,458 (457,806) vehicles. Engine production rose by 1.9 percent to 1,015,040 (995,679) units and therefore reached a new all-time high.

The model initiative and steady growth are creating secure jobs at Audi. The number of employees within the group was up slightly to 52,753 (52,062) by June 30, 2007. At AUDI AG, the figure of 44,440 was on a par with the high level of the previous year’s reporting date (44.494). Of this total, 31,185 (31,108) were employed at Ingolstadt and 13,255 (13,386) at Neckarsulm. AUDI HUNGARIA MOTOR Kft. employed a workforce of 5,498 (5,158) employees; Lamborghini listed 922 (741) and VOLKSWAGEN GROUP ITALIA S.P.A. (formerly AUTOGERMA S.p.A.) 899 (877) employees.


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