The European economy may be teetering towards disaster but it was full steam ahead for Volkswagen AG, the German automaker handily exceeding analysts’ already optimistic expectations with a first-quarter profit of $4.2 billion.
The 87% jump reflected VW’s steady sales gains around the world, especially in the United States, along with China, Russia and other emerging markets.
“With the first quarter we have had a clearly good start to the year,” said Volkswagen Chief Executive Martin Winterkorn in a prepared statement.
In Euros, VW’s net profit rose to 3.17 billion, with pretax profits up 93%, to 4.3 billion Euros. Revenues jumped to 47.3 billion Euros, a 26% gain driven by an 11% increase in worldwide vehicle deliveries. The maker sold 2.21 million vehicles during the quarter, which could put it in a position – if it continues that trend – to take on U.S. rival General Motors for the global automotive sales lead this year.