The Volkswagen group has reported an increase in sales revenues of 6.2% in 2017, to €230bn (£202bn).
The group attributed the result to strong unit sales, which grew 4.3% to 10.7m worldwide, and “healthy” performance of financial services.
Operating profits almost doubled to €13.8bn. The group incurred €3.2bn in charges over dieselgate litigations.
In provisional figures released in November, Volkswagen Financial Services (VWFS) said it expected its own profits for 2017 to surpass 2016’s €2.1bn.
It cited a portfolio increase of 8% to 19.7m contracts, relating especially to maintenance and inspection contracts, as well as lower cost of refinancing as reasons for the high expectation.
The 2017 results will be the first released after VWFS realigned its organisational structure, merging the European credit and deposit businesses into Volkswagen Bank. They are also expected to contain an update on VWFS’s intention to apply for a banking licence from the Bank of England to secure its post-Brexit future.
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Matthias Müller, Volkswagen group chief executive, said: “Looking ahead, we – like the entire industry – are facing major challenges and radical change.
“The excellent financial result provides a strong basis for this and gives us every reason to be confident. In fact, our [strategic] plan for the future … is taking effect and becoming increasingly tangible.”
Chief financial officer Frank Witter added: “The financial statements presented show that our operating business is strong and the group’s financial situation robust. Nearly 11m customers worldwide – more than ever before – opted for a vehicle from one of our brands last year. We are very thankful for this confidence.
“All the same, we must not relax our efforts because huge challenges lie ahead. Shaping the group’s transformation will not only require a great deal of time and energy; it will also be very expensive. This is why we must continue to keep our expenditure under tight control and advance the necessary innovations at the same time.”