- Cross-reference: photo was sent via satellite and is available
"With our attractive products we will continue to further
consolidate our position in the markets in 2000. This also applies to
what is currently a very difficult German market." These were the
words of the Chairman of the Board of Management of AUDI AG, Dr.
Franz-Josef Paefgen, at today's 111th Annual General Meeting in
"Especially our new models, the A2 and the allroad quattro,
emphasise once again the brand claim to 'Vorsprung durch Technik',"
explained Paefgen to the shareholders. These two new vehicle concepts
demonstrate how Audi is capable of applying its innovative prowess in
order to overcome seeming contradictions. The company's key areas of
expertise - TDI, aluminium lightweight design and quattro drive -
play a particular part in this.
In 1999 Audi reported Group earnings before taxes of DM 1.640
billion (1998: DM 1.684 billion). The DVFA result per share, which is
adjusted to eliminate one-off factors, was DM 21.89 (DM 19.18).
Shareholders of AUDI AG received a compensatory payment of EUR 0.77
per individual share certificate. This payment is equivalent to the
dividend payable on an individual Volkswagen share certificate. Group
sales revenues last year totalled DM 29.624 billion (DM 27.222
billion). In 1999 Audi increased its vehicle sales worldwide by 5.9
percent to 634,973 units (including Lamborghini). Capital investments
of DM 2.966 billion approximately matched the previous record,
achieved in 1998 (DM 3.168 billion).
Based on an estimate for the first half of 2000, pre-tax earnings
will be, according to Peter Abele, Member of the Board for Finance,
"approximately on a par with the previous year's level" (first half
of 1999: DM 806 million). Audi anticipates that vehicle sales
worldwide (including Lamborghini) will rise by 7.1 percent to around
343,500 units. According to estimates, sales revenues will be up by
9.8 percent to approximately DM 15.8 billion. Capital investments
will increase by 14.4 percent to around DM 1.2 billion.
The breakdown of Audi vehicle sales for major markets is as
follows: approximately 124,800 Audi vehicles will have been sold in
Germany by the end of June, 8.2 percent fewer than one year ago.
However, Audi anticipates that its market share will increase again
to 6.8 percent (first half of 1999: 6.7 percent).
In Western Europe (excluding Germany), Audi vehicle sales will
reach a total of around 143,400 units by 30 June (up 7.6 percent),
40,100 (up 41.9 percent) in the USA, 3,500 (up 14.5 percent) in Japan
and 31,600 (up 57.6 percent) in the rest of the world. Paefgen:
"China has recorded very good sales figures since the market launch
of the locally produced Audi A6." Sales there are expected to more
than double to around 8,100 vehicles.
The number of cars produced (including Lamborghini) will rise in
the first half of the year by approximately 4.3 percent to 328,300.
Around 635,200 engines will have been manufactured by 30 June, 0.4
percent more than one year ago.
The number of employees in the Audi Group is estimated to be up to
48,263 employees as at 30 June, an increase of 6.1 percent on the
previous year. Of this total, 29,286 work in Ingolstadt, 13,473 in
Neckarsulm, 4,335 in Györ at AUDI HUNGARIA MOTOR Kft. and a total of
1,155 at Cosworth Technology Limited and the Lamborghini Group.
In addition, the Chairman of the Board of Management explained
that Audi plans to increase its training capacity by around 40
percent from the year 2001 with the aid of a new organisation model.
The idea is to achieve this increase without additional capital
investments. Furthermore, new occupations will be introduced, such as
"mechatronic" specialist, for example - a combination of industrial
mechanic and industrial electrician.
Paefgen: "Our production plants are already operating at the
limits of their capacity. And this capacity is increasingly being
limited by the lack of suitably qualified workers. Our new training
concept can provide a long-term solution to this problem." This
solution will come about as a result of effective cooperation with
employees' representatives and vocational colleges. The total number
of apprenticeships will increase in the medium term from around 1,400
at the moment to some 2,000.
Dr. Franz-Josef Paefgen also appeared confident that the weak
development of the German market at present will not have any
negative effect on Audi: "The important thing is that we have
succeeded in further increasing our share of the German market in the
first six months of the year." In this connection Paefgen referred in
particular to the other markets which are developing positively at
the moment, almost without exception. Audi is particularly successful
in the USA. As Paefgen announced at the Annual General Meeting, Audi
wishes to shape the future successfully with its innovative ideas.
One good example of this is the A2, the market launch of which begins
tomorrow in Germany.
Notes to editorial staff: A photo of A2 production at the
Neckarsulm plant can be obtained through dpa (obs). The detailed
interim report will be published at the beginning of August.
ots Originaltext: Audi AG
Corporate and Finance
Tel: +49 (0)841 89-36340, Mobile: +49 (0)172 9104468
Jürgen De Graeve,
Tel: +49 (0)841 89-34084, Mobile: +49 (0)172 9142908
Original-Content von: Audi AG, übermittelt durch news aktuell