Audi continues to pursue its strategy of consistent growth. Between January and June, the carmaker delivered around 780,500 cars bearing the four-ring emblem – 6.4 percent more than in the first six months of the previous year. At €25.2 billion, the Audi Group’s revenue in the first half of 2013 has attained the high level of the previous year. The operating profit during the same period, at €2.6 billion, was slightly below the previous year’s figure of €2.9 billion. With an operating return on sales of 10.5 percent, the Ingolstadt-based company is again working at a highly profitable level within the competitive environment.
“Despite challenging economic conditions, we are keeping to our forecast for the year as a whole. We are also investing heavily in new products, developing innovative and revolutionary new technologies and expanding our worldwide production capacities,” emphasizes Axel Strotbek, Board Member for Finance.
Board Member for Sales Luca de Meo has announced that Audi expects to achieve the sales target originally set for 2015 already this year. “We will continue to grow this year despite what are sometimes difficult market conditions. In 2013, we want to deliver more than 1.5 million Audi brand cars to our customers.” The new Audi A3 family and the Q3 and Q5 SUVs are expected to contribute significantly to that effort.
In the first half of 2013, Audi delivered 780,467 Audi brand cars (2012: 733,216) – an increase of 6.4 percent and a new record-breaking figure as well. Nonetheless, the company has not been able to completely bypass the tough economic conditions. At €25,234 million (2012: €25,022), Audi Group revenue in the first half of 2013 was at the previous year’s level.
The cost of sales increased as a result of the growth in volume to €20,190 million (2012: €19,881) and distribution costs rose to €2,284 million (2012: €2,209). In all, the company generated an operating profit of €2,644 million (2012: €2,871) – a decline of 7.9 percent.
With an operating return on sales of 10.5 percent (2012: 11.5), the Audi Group once again exceeded its strategic target corridor of eight to ten percent in the first half of the year, making it one of the most profitable companies in the automotive industry. The company generated a profit before tax of €2,974 million (2012: €3,175). That corresponds to a return on sales of 11.8 percent (2012: 2.7).
Despite high up-front costs for new products, innovative drive technologies and the expansion of the worldwide production network, Audi financed all investments in operating activities – as in previous years – entirely from its own resources. The cash flow from operating activities for the Audi Group in the first six months of this year amounted to €3,236 million (2012: €3,241).
Research and development expenditure from January to June increased to €1,995 million (2012: €1,701) – an increase of 17.3 percent on the previous year. The expansion and renewal of the product portfolio played an especially important role here. In addition to the new A3 Sedan that will be introduced to the market in autumn, Audi will begin delivering the new A8 to dealerships before this year ends as well. The Audi flagship model reinforces the company’s claim to leadership with features like the Audi Matrix LED headlights – a world first in lighting technology. The brand with the four rings also sets a trailblazing standard in the automotive industry with Audi connect. The models of the A3 family will network even faster with their surroundings in the future via LTE data transfer technology. At the same time, the company is preparing for the market launch of new cars with alternative drive systems including the new plug-in hybrid Audi A3 Sportback e-tron, which will roll out to dealers in 2014. Audi will use these and other innovations to fulfill CO2 regulations and delight customers worldwide.
At €13,536 million (2012: €13,377), net liquidity at mid-2013 was slightly above the corresponding figure for June 30, 2012.
Revenue for 2013 as a whole should slightly exceed that of the previous year as a result of the growth in delivery volumes. The company meanwhile plans to achieve an operating return on sales at the upper end of the strategic target corridor of eight to ten percent despite considerable up-front costs for expanding the worldwide production network as well as higher expenditure for new cars and technologies. Audi plans to continue covering the high investment volumes for locations, products and new technologies out of the cash flow of operating activities in the future as well.