VW Q2 profit eases 3.1 pct amid emerging-market troubles

BERLIN, July 31 Thu Jul 31, 2014 5:25am EDT

BERLIN, July 31 (Reuters) - Germany's Volkswagen on Thursday said operating profit declined 3.1 percent in the second quarter as emerging-market volatility and the carmaker's weakening U.S. business weighed on earnings.

Operating profit at Europe's largest automotive group fell to 3.33 billion euros ($4.46 billion), from 3.44 billion euros a year ago, VW said, matching a 3.33 billion-euro consensus forecast in a Reuters poll of analysts.

"Challenges arise from the difficult market environment, intense competition as well as volatile interest rate and currency developments," VW said.

The German group stuck to its previous guidance published in February, saying that its operating margin could be between 5.5 and 6.5 percent after 5.9 percent last year.

($1 = 0.7467 Euros) (Reporting by Andreas Cremer; Editing by Jonathan Gould)