VW's Martin Winterkorn said the company's goals for the year remain unchanged despite difficulties in Europe.

Volkswagen AG rode U.S. and China sales to a 20% increase in operational profits in the third quarter despite a 3.8% drop in revenue. However, the company’s net profit dropped to $2.6 billion (1.9 billion euros) from $15.6 billion (11.3 billion euros).

Operational profits, which are profits before taxes and interest, rose to $3.8 billion (2.78 billion euros) from 2.32 billion euros.

Group deliveries increased by 4.8% to 7.2 million vehicles worldwide. The Group’s share of the passenger car market rose year-on-year to 12.7% from 12.6%.

Stronger sales in the United States and China helped with profitability, as well as the company’s high-priced luxury brands Audi and Porsche.

The company needed the sales from other regions to perform well to offset the European market, which is facing its lowest sales in a decade. Volkswagen’s worldwide vehicle sales increased 3.6% in the quarter to 2.38 million, even as they slipped 4.1% in the company’s home market in Germany.

Audi brand unit sales were on par with the previous year at 1 million vehicles; the Chinese joint venture FAW-Volkswagen sold 309,000 Audi vehicles compared with 247,000 at the same time last year.

Bentley delivered 6,600 vehicles, 100 less than the year-ago period, but its operating profit of $134.9 million (€98 million) was up compared to the figure of $100.5 million (€73 million).

Sports car manufacturer Porsche sold 115,000 vehicles and generated an operating profit of $2.6 billion (€1.9 billion) in the first nine months of 2013.

VW’s other companies, such as SEAT and Skoda, lost money during the quarter. Despite some lingering issues, the Board of Management reiterated its forecast for fiscal year 2013.

(Audi makes gains in reliability Consumer Reports says. For more, Click Here.)

“The goals we have set ourselves for the current fiscal year are very ambitious given the extremely difficult economic environment,” said Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn, chairman of the Board of Management.

“But, as before, we are standing by these goals. I am convinced that 2013 will be a solid year for the Volkswagen Group thanks to our outstanding model range and broad global presence.”

(Click Here to see how automakers count on China for luxury car sales.)

A big part of that push will center on dealing with the economic reality the company faces for the remainder of the year.

“We are focusing on disciplined cost and investment management” given that “the economic environment is not expected to improve in the short term,” said CFO Hans Dieter Poetsch in a statement.

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