Financial highlights 2021: Business as unusual

In 2021, recovery from the coronavirus pandemic and semiconductor supply shortages were key factors in the development of the global economy and car markets. How Audi's figures developed and what the company expects in 2022: the overview.

03/17/2022 Reading Time: 5 min

Decline in deliveries and supply shortages for semiconductors resulting in production cutbacks – and still a record result! Jürgen Rittersberger, Chief Financial and Legal Officer, classifies the fiscal year 2021:

2021 was a turbulent year for our industry and for Audi, but we have mastered it very successfully.

Jürgen Rittersberger, Member of the Board of Management of AUDI AG, Finance and Legal Affairs

Audi Group 2021

January untill December 2021





vehicles approximately at the prior-year level despite semiconductor shortages (-0,7%)



growth for fully electric vehicles


increase of


to EUR 53,1 billion despite a decline in sales due to strong price enforcement

Operating profit

record figure of EUR



thanks in part to the good residual value situation, cost discipline and momentum from commodity valuation and exchange rate effects; strong performance by the Lamborghini and Ducati brands



Net cash flow

Record figure of EUR



due to high profit, exceptionally favorable performance of working capital and low levels of investing activity

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Multi-year comparison of the key performance indicators of the Audi Group

  2019 2020 2021
Deliveries to customers of the Audi brand [¹] (cars) 1,845,573 1,692,773 1,680,512
Revenue (EUR million)  55,680 49,973 53,068
Operating profit  (EUR million)














Return on investment (ROI) (percent)







Net cash flow (EUR million) 3,160 4,589 7,757
Research and development ratio  (percent) 7.9 7.3 7.4
Ratio of capex [³] (percent) 4.9 3.8 3.8

[¹] Including delivered vehicles built locally by the associated company FAW-Volkswagen Automotive Company, Ltd., Changchun (China) 

[²] Taking into account special items, in particular in connection with the diesel issue

[³] Investments in property, plant and equipment, investment property and other intangible assets according to cash flow statement in relation to revenue 

Semiconductor shortages impact the 2021 fiscal year

A significant shortage of semiconductors has been leading to supply bottlenecks in industry globally since the beginning of 2021. The automotive industry has also felt the effects of this undersupply, which was triggered, among other things, by factory closures at key manufacturers as a result of the pandemic. Audi consequently also had to cut production, leading to temporary short-time work at the German sites.

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Product adjustments and reductions in stocks stabilize deliveries


Since the beginning of 2021, Audi has been working relentlessly in company-wide crisis teams and in close collaboration with the Volkswagen Group to limit the impact of the semiconductor shortage. For instance, Audi continually adapted production to take account of installation rates, volumes or equipment variants and also manufactured vehicles that can be retrofitted at a later time. The brand satisfied the strong demand for cars optimally through increased reductions in stocks. In the medium to long term, Audi is planning to adapt the procurement strategy together with the Volkswagen Group, in part through direct access to semiconductor manufacturers or by developing its own chips to minimize the risk in the future. Nonetheless, owing to the semiconductor crisis the Audi Group was unable to produce a low six-digit number of vehicles in 2021 as planned. This also impacted the key figures for 2021.


Semiconductor shortages also expected in 2022


The production of semiconductors is a complicated and protracted process. In addition, the chip manufacturers need a certain lead time to ramp up their capacity to the required levels. It is for these reasons that Audi is anticipating further supply shortages of semiconductors in 2022.

Outlook: fiscal year 2022

Expected development of the key performance indicators of the Premium brand group (Audi, Lamborghini, Ducati and Bentley). The forecast of the Premium brand group does not account for the effects of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine.

Key performance indicators Forecast
Deliveries Between 1,800 and 1,900 thousand cars of the Premium brand group.
Revenue Between EUR 62 and 65 billion expected revenue.
RoS Between 9 and 11% expected operating return on sales.
Net cash flow Between EUR. 4,5 and 5,5 billion expected net cash flow.
ROI Between 17 and 20%  expected return on investment.

Between 6 and 7% expected research and development ratio.


Ratio of capex

Between 4 and 5% expected ratio of capex.


The non-financial indicator of deliveries to customers reflects the number of new Audi brand vehicles handed over to customers.

The non-financial indicator of deliveries to customers reflects the number of new Audi brand vehicles handed over to customers.


  Deliveries of the Audi brand [¹] Compared with the prior-year level Deliveries of the Audi brand, accumulated YTD [¹] Accumulated compared with the prior-year level
January 2021 155,700 +0.1%
February 2021 121,800 +31.1% 277,600 +15.5%
March 2021 185,300 +64.3% 462,800 +31.1%
April 2021 171,200 +107.9% 634,000 +45.6%
May 2021 171,400 +44.5% 805,400 +45.4%
June 2021 176,300 +15.0% 981,700 +38.8%
July 2021 146,800 -8.9% 1,128,500 +29.9%
August 2021 117,200 -20.0% 1,245,700 +22.7%
September 2021 102,000 -40.8% 1,347,600 +13.5%
October 2021 98,400 -39.9% 1,446,100 +7.0%
November 2021 108,800 -34.6% 1,554,900 +2.5%
December 2021 125,600 -28.4% 1,680,500 -0.7%

[¹] rounded-off figures

Key performance indicators of the Audi Group in a nutshell

The basis for the management of the Audi Group is a value-oriented corporate management approach in combination with the following key performance indicators, which are important drivers of our corporate development and support the goals of our strategy.

Deliveries to customers of the Audi brand
Auslieferungen an Kunden

The non-financial indicator of deliveries to customers reflects the number of new vehicles of the Audi brand handed over to customers. This performance indicator reflects demand from customers for our products and reveals our competitive and image position in the various markets worldwide. Strong demand for our products has a major impact on production, and consequently also on the capacity utilization of our sites and the deployment of our workforce. In addition, a continuing high level of vehicle deliveries reflects high customer satisfaction. 


The financial key performance indicators include Audi Group revenue, which is a financial reflection of our market success. 

Operating profit /operating return on sales
Operative Umsatzrendite

Another key performance indicator is the operating profit of the Audi Group. This key figure represents the economic performance of our core business as well as the economic performance of our fundamental operational activity, and is defined as follows:



– Cost of goods sold

– Distribution costs

– Administrative expenses

+ Other operating income

– Other operating expenses

= Operating profit


Our financial key performance indicators also include the operating return on sales of the Audi Group:

Operating return on sales = Operating profit / Revenue 

Return on investment (ROI)
Return on Investment

A further key performance indicator is return on investment (ROI). This reflects how effective our business activities are, by considering the return achieved on the capital employed over a given period. Return on investment already takes account of CO₂ compliance measures and can therefore also be understood as return on investment after CO₂.

Return on investment (ROI) = Operating profit after tax / Average invested assets 

Net cash flow

Net cash flow, which serves as a benchmark of the Audi Group’s level of self-financing, is calculated as follows:


Cash flow from operating activities

– Investing activities attributable to operating activities

= Net cash flow

Research and development ratio
Forschungs- und Entwicklungskostenquote

The research and development ratio expresses Audi’s innovative strength and also ensures that it maintains competitive cost structures.


Research and development ratio = Research and development activities / Revenue

Ratio of capex

The ratio of capex is another indicator of the Audi Group’s competitiveness.


Ratio of capex = Capex according to the cash flow statement / Revenue


Capex includes investments in property, plant and equipment, investment property and other intangible assets according to the cash flow statement. Here, capital investment in essence comprises financial resources for modernizing and expanding our range of products and services, for optimizing our capacities and for improving the Audi Group’s production processes. Investment decisions are requested by the specialist areas, then scrutinized and prioritized by Investment Controlling and the “Investment Group” corporate committee. Major decisions affecting investment policy are also approved by the Company’s Supervisory Board. 

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