The Volkswagen Group brought fiscal year 2019 to a successful conclusion with improved financial results in almost all brands. Dr. Herbert Diess, Chairman of the Board of Management of Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft, said, “2019 was a very successful year for the Volkswagen Group. We have laid vital groundwork for all relevant changes. 2020 is a very difficult year. The corona pandemic presents us with unknown operational and financial challenges. At the same time, there are concerns about sustained economic impacts. We will succeed in overcoming the corona crisis by pooling our strengths and with close cooperation and high morale in our Group.”
“Given the present heightened uncertainty, production is to be suspended in the near future at factories operated by Group brands.”
In view of the current significant deterioration in the sales situation and the emerging uncertainty in the supply of parts, Diess announced interruptions in production at the Group's sites in Europe. Production at the Spanish plants, Setubal in Portugal, Bratislava in Slovakia and the Lamborghini and Ducati plants in Italy will be interrupted this week, while most of the Group's other German and European plants are currently preparing a production interruption, probably for two weeks. In China, on the other hand, production has resumed, with the exception of the plants in Changsha and Urumqi.
- Sales revenue increased by EUR 16.8 billion to EUR 252.6 billion.
- Operating profit before special items rose to EUR 19.3 (17.1) billion.
- Negative special items in connection with diesel decreased to EUR 2.3 (3.2) billion.
- In the Automotive Division, net cash flow in-creased markedly to EUR 10.8 (-0.3) billion, with net liquidity reaching EUR 21.3 (19.4) billion.
- Board of Management and Supervisory Board propose an increase of the dividend to EUR 6.50 (4.80) per ordinary share and EUR 6.56 (4.86) per preferred share. This would raise the payout ratio to 24.5 (20.4) percent.
- At 7.6 (7.3) percent, the operating return on sales before special items slightly exceeded the forecasted range for 2019. Oper-ating profit also improved to EUR 17.0 (13.9) billion.
- Deliveries to customers slightly increased to 10.97 million vehicles (+1.3 percent). Growth was recorded above all in Europe and South America, while deliveries to customers in North America and the Asia-Pacific region slightly declined due to overall market trends.
- The Group’s market share rose in almost all regions.
- Profit before tax improved by 17.3 percent to EUR 18.4 billion and the return on sales before tax increased to 7.3 (6.6) percent.
- In 2019, sales revenue of the Volkswagen Passenger Cars brand was 4.5 percent higher than in the previous year at €88.4 billion.
- Audi recorded lower revenue of €55.7 (2018: 59.2), but a higher operating return on sales of 8.1 (7.9) percent.
- Revenue in 2019 rose by 14.5 percent at ŠKODA, by 12.7 percent at SEAT, by 35.1 percent at Bentley, by 10.1 percent at Porsche and by 15.8 percent at Volkswagen Financial Services.
- Scania and MAN were also able to increase their revenue and operating profit, while Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles almost matched the previous year's level with revenue of €11.5 billion (€11.9 billion).
Regarding the outlook for 2020, Frank Witter, member of the Group Board of Management responsible for Finance and IT, said: “The spread of coronavirus is currently impacting the global economy. It is uncertain how severely or for how long this will also affect the Volkswagen Group. Currently, it is almost impossible to make a reliable forecast. We are making full use of all measures in task force mode to support our employees and their families and to stabilize our business.”