|August 3, 2005
Audi: Another Record-Breaking First Half
INGOLSTADT, Germany - Audi set a new company sales record in the first six months of this year, selling 421,967 Audi models worldwide (January - June 2004: 389,913). This represents an increase of 8.2 percent on the same period last year. Revenue was up by 7.3 percent to the new record figure of EUR 13,226 (12,328) million. The operating result rose by 12.3 percent to EUR 658 (586) million, not least as the result of systematic cost-cutting drives. Profit before tax was up 1.6 percent on the previous year at EUR 510 (502) million.
"Audi's success in the first six months is a clear endorsement of our product strategy," said Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn, Chairman of the Board of AUDI AG. "Our target for the year as a whole is to sell more than 800,000 cars for the first time ever, thus setting a new sales record for the twelfth year in succession. To achieve this goal, we will need to serve our existing markets even more effectively, actively tap into new growth markets and expand our range of models. We will be launching the Audi Q7, our completely new, sporty SUV, in early 2006, followed by our first thoroughbred sports car which is based on the fascinating Audi Le Mans quattro study," he emphasised. Audi's target is to sell around one million vehicles in the year 2008. Winterkorn confirmed that his goal is for Audi to become the leading premium brand worldwide by the end of the decade.
"The impressive achievements of the first half of 2005 are also reflected in the cash flow statement," explained Rupert Stadler, AUDI AG Board Member for Finance and Organisation. Audi has been working on improving the cash flow in recent years, in particular by systematic management of its working capital. The cash flow from operating activities rose sharply by EUR 945 million to EUR 2,071 million. This means that net liquidity has been increased by EUR 1,029 million since the 2004 balance sheet date, to EUR 3,062 million. This serves to reflect the company's high profitability and consequently provides an excellent basis on which to tackle the challenges of the next few years, continued Stadler.
Audi achieved sales records in the first six months in 12 of 20 markets in Western Europe. Great Britain, the biggest European export market, with sales of 45,107 vehicles (41,805, up 7.9 percent), Spain with 28,674 vehicles (23,742, up 20.8 percent), Italy with 27,534 vehicles (26,688, up 3.2 percent) and France with 22,571 vehicles (18,451, up 22.3 percent) deserve a special mention.
Compared with the prior-year period, vehicle sales in Germany rose by 10.4 percent in the first six months to 126,093 (114,169) vehicles. At the same time Audi increased its market share to 7.5 percent (January - June 2004: 6.9 percent).
Sales in Western Europe were up in the first six months by 12.4 percent to 320,598 (285,160) vehicles. At 4.2 percent (January - June 2004: 3.7 percent), Audi's market share in Western Europe is at an all-time high. New sales records were set in 28 markets worldwide in the first half of 2005.
The full Interim Report can be accessed on the Internet at: www.audi.com/interimreport