The Audi Group continues to build on the success of the previous fiscal year. By the end of April, the Company had delivered 11.7 percent more Audi cars to customers. With an operating profit of €1.4 billion in the first quarter, the Ingolstadt-based carmaker also posted a 26.6 percent improvement on the prior-year period.
During the 123rd Annual General Meeting of AUDI AG, which took place today in Ingolstadt, Chairman of the Board of Management Rupert Stadler expressed great satisfaction with the Company’s growth during the first months of the current fiscal year: “By the end of April we had already delivered more than 471,000 cars, and thus achieved strong growth worldwide.”
Stadler also addressed the key financial figures: With a 17.8 percent increase in revenue to €12.4 billion and a record operating profit of €1.4 billion as well as a resulting return on sales of 11.4 percent, the Company has again shown its strength in the worldwide automotive business in the first quarter.
Speaking to shareholders, Axel Strotbek, Member of the Board of Management of AUDI AG for Finance and Organization, emphasized the performance of the past year: “In 2011 we continued our strategic course for sustainable and profitable growth at full speed.”
In order to maintain this fast pace in the future, the Supervisory Board and Board of Management of AUDI AG decided a few weeks ago to establish a new production site in Mexico. Axel Strotbek underscored how important the process of increasing the brand’s international presence is: “The decision in favor of a new plant in Mexico strengthens the international competitiveness of our Company.” Production of the Audi Q5 for the worldwide market will begin there in 2016.
But Audi is not only expanding its global production network in Mexico. Two new plants will begin operating as early as 2013. In Hungary, the Company is currently expanding its site in Győr into a full automotive plant, where a new member of the A3 family will be produced.
In China, Audi wants to begin production with its joint venture partner FAW at a second site in the south of the country. In addition to the existing plant in Changchun, cars with the four-ring logo will begin rolling off the assembly lines in the city of Foshan next year.
The Company plans a total of 18 market launches for 2012. The A6 hybrid, A1 Sportback and the new generation of A4 models have already been successfully launched during the first four months of the year. Now the brand is placing the Audi A3 – which was introduced at the Geneva Motor Show – in the running. The Company expects the car to boost growth in the strategically important compact car segment.
The Company is thus targeting further overall growth in deliveries of Audi cars for 2012 as a whole. As a result, sales revenue for the Audi Group should also increase. Provided that underlying economic conditions do not change significantly, Audi expects its operating profit to remain at the high level of the previous year despite higher expenditures for new models, the development of new technologies and the previously mentioned expansion of its production network.
Meanwhile, aside from the increase in sales volume, the Company is relying on continuous improvement of processes. For the planned model initiative and the development of new technologies, Audi is also significantly increasing the size of its workforce. The Company will hire around 2,000 experts in Germany during this year alone – 800 more than originally planned.
For the third time in a row, engineering and business graduates selected Audi as the most popular employer in Germany in the renowned employer rankings by the Universum und Trendence consulting institutes. This should help in particular in the search for engineers with a passion for cars.
In addition, a new Italian member of the family will join the Audi Group: Ducati, the venerable maker of sport motorcycles. Ducati is viewed worldwide as a leading premium brand in motorcycle engineering, with outstanding skill in motorcycle development and lightweight construction. The addition is intended as another building block in the Company’s growth strategy. AUDI AG is hoping to take over Ducati Motor Holding S.p.A. as quickly as possible once it has obtained approval from antitrust authorities.
Livestream: www.audi.com/annual_general_meeting (starting at 10 a.m. CET)