German car maker Volkswagen (VLKAF) (VLKAY) (VLKPF) (VLKPY) on Thursday downplayed the significance of outstanding litigation in both the U.S. and Europe by setting aside a relatively light €400 million ($437 million) in additional charges for compensation and other special items.
But, although the new sum takes the total set aside for the cheat-technology scandal to €18.2 billion so far, the group was able to point to higher sales worldwide and a positive outlook for almost all its brands.
Volkswagen was up 0.44% by late morning in Frankfurt at €134.40
Revenue in the third quarter was €52.0 billion, up 1% from €51.5 billion in the same quarter last year, while sales for the year so far were barely down on January to September 2015, at €159.9 billion compared with €160.3 billion.
Earnings per share were €4.54, a few cents shy of analysts' estimates of €4.60, according to Market Watch.
The company also changed guidance for the full year, saying sales would match last year's total. Previous guidance had been for a decline of up to 5% for 2016 compared with 2015.
"The figures for the first three quarters show the operational strength of the alliance of brands in the Volkswagen Group", said management board chairman Matthias Müller.
Overall, the group said operating profit before special items was up €1.1 billion in the first nine months to €11.3 billion, excluding Chinese joint ventures. After one-time items, operating profit for the period was still €8.8 billion compared with €3.3 billion a year ago. Profit after tax for the first nine months was €5.9 billion.
Although Volkswagen passenger cars - - the group's core business - - fell just short of 2015 levels for the first nine months, Audi, Porsche (POAHF) (POAHY) , Bentley and the mass-market Skoda and Seat marques all showed increases, as did sales of the Scania and MAN commercial vehicle brands.
Total vehicle deliveries were up 4.2% in the third quarter at 2.5 million units and 2.4% in the first nine months at 7.6 million units.