VW posts 2015 operating loss on 16.2 billion euro Dieselgate charge

A Volkswagen logo is pictured at Volkswagen's headquarters in Wolfsburg, Germany, April 22, 2016. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Volkswagen VOWG_p.DE announced on Friday a 4.1 billion euros ($4.6 billion) operating loss for 2015 as Europe's largest automaker took a 16.2 billion euros hit to pay for its diesel emissions test-rigging scandal.

VW in September admitted cheating on emissions tests for 11 million vehicles worldwide since 2009 in its biggest-ever corporate scandal, which has wiped billions of euros off its market value, forced out its long-time chief executive and damaged VW’s global image.

Volkswagen was forced to postpone its results announcement in February amid uncertainty about the financial impact of the scandal until it reached an outline deal with U.S. regulators offering to buy back or potentially fix about half a million polluting diesel cars and set up environmental and consumer compensation funds.

Excluding special items, the 12-brand group had a 12.8 billion euros operating profit, the company said.

But after deducting 16.2 billion euros to pay for the Dieselgate settlement, and an additional 400 million euros to restructure commercial vehicles and passenger cars, the company swung to a 4.1 billion euros operating loss.

VW’s management and executive boards proposed to pay shareholders a dividend of 0.11 euros per ordinary share and of 0.17 euros per preferred share, down from a payout of 4.80 euros per common share and 4.86 euros per preference share for 2014, reflecting the cost-cutting drive.

Reporting by Edward Taylor and Andreas Cremer; Editing by Maria Sheahan