The Audi Group surpassed its targets for the year 2012. In spite of effects of the debt crisis in some countries and a contracting overall market in Europe, the German auto maker posted record figures for production, shipments, revenue and earnings. In the past financial year, the brand with the four rings sold more than 1.45 million automobiles and increased its revenue to €48.8 billion. The Audi Group was also able to increase its operating profit to €5.4 billion, a record result in the company’s history so far. In the full year, the operating return on sales of 11.0 percent was above the strategic target corridor of eight to ten percent. In 2013, the company intends to continue its growth and gain additional customers. In addition, the automobile manufacturer from Ingolstadt plans to recruit approximately 1,500 new employees in Germany alone, and will offer 700 young people an apprenticeship or traineeship.
Audi presented all of its key figures for the past financial year at its annual press conference held at the company’s headquarters in Ingolstadt. Rupert Stadler, the CEO of AUDI AG, stated: “2012 was a very successful year for us. We surpassed our targets and added an attractive premium brand, Ducati, to our brand portfolio. We intend to continue our growth in 2013 and with two new plants this year, we will create the right conditions to reinforce our claim to leadership over the long term.” As of 2016, Audi will produce the next generation of the Q5 at its new plant in San José Chiapa, Mexico.
The Audi Group’s net financial income in the year under review amounted to €576 million (2011: €692 million). As a result, the Group posted profit before tax of €5,956 million (2011: €6,041 million).
For Axel Strotbek, Board of Management Member for Finance and Organization at AUDI AG, the company’s high profitability reflects the success of the growth strategy. The CFO regards investing in the future as evidence of farsighted management: “We already initiated the biggest investment program in our history in 2011. We now plan total investment averaging more than €3.5 billion each year until 2015, in order to effectively pursue our growth path.”
The high investment volume of recent years is paying off. The new Audi Q3 was launched in the first markets in the fall of 2011 and was thus available for its first full year in 2012. In Europe alone, Audi handed over nearly 80,000 units of the compact SUV to customers. The Audi A6 Avant has also been at dealerships since the fall of 2011 and is responsible for strong growth impetus on the brand’s home continent. Sales of this large wagon increased in the region by 38.9 percent to approximately 63,100 automobiles in 2012. Across all models, the Audi brand sold about 739,000 cars in Europe last year, improving by a significant 1.8 percent compared with the prior year in a difficult market environment.
In the United States, the company set new sales records in each month of the year 2012, further accelerating the growth rates of 2011. And the brand with the four rings maintained its clear lead in the premium segment in China. The company’s global strategy showed positive results – Audi achieved record unit sales in more than 50 markets last year.
The company would not be able to meet its targets without highly motivated employees. The Board of Management therefore thanks all members of the Audi workforce for their efforts and commitment. Once again, the employees of AUDI AG will benefit from a profit share for last year: Employees at the German sites covered by collective pay agreements will receive an average profit share of €8,030. For the year 2013, AUDI AG plans to recruit 1,500 additional employees in Germany alone. And once again, approximately 700 young people will start an apprenticeship or traineeship at Audi this year.
The Audi Group anticipates a slight increase in revenue in the years 2013 and 2014. The development of earnings will profit not only from the targeted growth in unit sales, but also from the continuous improvements in productivity and processes initiated in the past, as well as from efficient corporate structures. Despite high expenditure for new products and technologies – in particular to fulfill stricter CO2 regulations all over the world and investments to expand the international production network – the company anticipates an operating return on sales at the upper end of the strategic target corridor of eight to ten percent.
New models of the Audi brand will help the company to achieve this goal. Last week, the automobile manufacturer from Ingolstadt continued its model offensive at the Geneva Motor Show, with the Audi A3 Sportback e-tron for example. The A3 sedan will also have its world premiere this year and will strengthen Audi’s position in strategically important markets such as the United States and China. And Audi has more sporty RS models in its product range this year than ever before. In addition to the RS 7 Sportback and the RS Q3, the RS 6 Avant and the RS 5 Cabriolet will also be launched in 2013.