FRANKFURT Feb 24 Volkswagen
forecast broadly stable earnings this year after record sales of
luxury Audi and Porsche cars helped it post its highest annual
underlying operating profit ever.
The carmaker expects to post an underlying operating margin
of between 6 and 7 percent this year, compared with 6.7 percent
last year, even as revenue growth accelerates to 4 percent, it
said on Friday.
Volkswagen also reported operating profit before special
items jumped 14 percent to a record level of 14.6 billion euros
($15.5 billion), broadly in line with forecasts, and hiked its
dividend more than expected.
Record earnings before one-off items reflect progress VW has
achieved on making its core brand leaner and more efficient.
But it booked bigger-than-expected one-off charges totalling
7.5 billion euros in 2016, of which 6.4 billion were related to
the emissions-test rigging scandal. Analysts had on average
forecast 4.2 billion euros in total.
($1 = 0.9448 euros)
(Reporting by Maria Sheahan; Editing by Edward Taylor)