Autos & Transportation

Premium cars drive Volkswagen profit above pre-pandemic levels

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An employee fixes a VW sign at a production line of the electric Volkswagen model ID.3 in Zwickau, Germany, February 25, 2020. REUTERS/Matthias Rietschel

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  • H1 operating profit 11 bln eur vs 9 bln in 2019
  • H1 automotive net cash flow around 10 bln eur
  • Shares up as much as 5.8%

FRANKFURT, July 9 (Reuters) - Volkswagen's (VOWG_p.DE) first-half operating profit is expected to reach around 11 billion euros ($13 billion), it said on Friday, topping pre-pandemic levels on strong demand in Europe and the United States, particularly for Porsches and Audis.

The upmarket brands were less affected by an ongoing global shortage of crucial semiconductors, the German automaker said, adding its financial services arm also helped to boost earnings.

In the same period last year, Volkswagen posted an operating loss of 1.49 billion euros, hit by the coronavirus crisis, while it made a profit of around 9 billion in the first half of 2019.

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Volkswagen's shares rose as much as 5.8% to the top of Germany's blue-chip DAX index (.GDAXI).

Business in China, the world's largest car market, was slightly weaker in the period, Volkswagen said. Industry data earlier showed that auto sales in China fell 12.4% in June year-on-year, hit by the global chip bottleneck. read more

Volkswagen, Europe's largest carmaker, said it now expected the main impact of the shortage, which has also hit rivals, to occur in the second half of the year.

The group said first-half reported automotive net cash flow was expected to reach around 10 billion euros, versus 5.57 billion in 2019 and a negative 4.8 billion last year.

Volkswagen, whose supervisory board is meeting to discuss a contract extension for Chief Executive Herbert Diess, is scheduled to publish full second-quarter results on July 29.

($1 = 0.8430 euros)

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Reporting by Christoph Steitz Editing by Kirsti Knolle and Mark Potter

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