Volkswagen Management Discusses Q4 2011 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

Volkswagen AG (VLKAY.PK)

Q4 2011 Earnings Call

March 12, 2012 8:00 AM ET


Martin Winterkorn – Chairman

Hans Pötsch – CFO


Adam Hull – WestLB

Jochen Gehrke – Deutsche Bank

Thierry Huon – BNP Paribas

Horst Schneider – HSBC

Georges Dieng – Natixis

Frank Biller – Ladensbank Baden-Württemberg

Christian Breitsprecher – Macquarie

Thomas Killard – SIB AG

Michael Tyndall – Barclays Capital

Michael Raab – Kepler

Max Warburton


Unidentified Company Representative

(Interpreted). First, they’re already asking for the flow. But let me first of all say welcome, good afternoon to all who’s stuck here in Wolfsburg. This morning, Professor Winterkorn and Mr. Pötsch gave you detailed reports on the business performance and strategy of the Volkswagen Group. I’m sure that the analysts and investors still have a couple of questions that they would like to ask. And that’s why I would like to invite all of you here to ask any further questions you might have.

Please wait for the microphone and please also briefly indicate your name and your institute or affiliation. Of course, you can also ask your question in English. So, Adam I think asked for the flow in the second row. Adam, I pass the floor.

Question-and-Answer Session

Adam Hull – WestLB

Rather financial – Sorry, Adam Hull from WestLB. Three questions. Firstly, could you just give us some indication of what the PPA charge in EBIT line was in the fourth quarter? That’s I guess in the other eliminations line. And could you also give us some indication as to what degree the particularly MAN charge against some PPA in Q4 is rather exceptional and therefore would be lower? So, what roughly will the PPA charges be in 2012 in the different segments?

And secondly, on the VW brand EBIT, the Q4 number €40 million with a margin of just 2.2%, I think you’ve given some indication there’s some large charges on the MQB start-up cost there. Could you just give us some kind of indication of what the kind of size that we saw in Q4 and what kind of size are we going to see maybe for the full year in the VW brand?

And then finally on the CapEx, I think the CapEx ratio was 5.6% in the full year 2011. Should we expect it to be a peak as a ratio of sales for 2012 or will the peak be in 2013? I’m thinking about MQB costs to some degree. Thanks.

Hans Pötsch

Now concerning the first question that was relating to amortization and depreciation allocated assets, but first of all, let me tell you – let me remind you that in our entire results of 2010, close to €700 million was indicated here, of which close to €300 million related to operating profit. In 2011, this amount increased significantly. It increased to approximately €1.1 billion of this amount.

Approximately €750 million relate to operating profit over – incurred in operating profit. Because of the recent additions, the depreciation and amortization figure on allocated assets in 2012 will again be significantly increased namely to more than €1.4 billion. Because of the change in the form of consolidation in particular for MAN which has happened in the meantime, the overwhelming maturity of this will be incurred in operating profit. At the moment, we assume that only about €100 million will be incurred in the financial result – will be laid to the financial result.

As far as the further course and as far as the measures taken so far are concerned, 2012 should then be the peak value, should be the highest value for depreciation and amortization on allocated assets. I would like to explicitly say that these depreciations and amortizations were taken into account when we gave you our forecast for the profits.

Adam Hull – WestLB I had a question about or related to the profit for the Volkswagen Passenger Car brand and in particular, you were asking about the fourth quarter. Now, in the fourth quarter, indeed, the return rate, which used to be higher, declined. It declined to approximately 2.2%. And here, a number of measures like this development, this was driven by a number of measures.

On the one hand, we had considerable start-up costs in the fourth quarter, in particular, the new small family and the up to be specific were cost drivers and we also had a couple of burdens from commodities or raw materials. The cost of raw materials and the conversion expense, conversion to the MQB, the Modular Transverse system, the conversion expense incurred here was a three-digit million figure.

Now the next question related to CapEx. Now for the group, the ratio is 5.6%. That’s the CapEx, right? I already mentioned that – in fact, we have to say that in both years, in 2010 and in 2011, we said we’re below our medium-term objective. I think that you also listened to my presentation before. And we are now entering a phase with higher investment so that we assume that the value of 6% can be even slightly exceeded, outperformed in 2007, 2013. But when you look at the rolling average over several years, the value of 6% is the value that we will continue to achieve.

Martin Winterkorn

Thank you. Jochen Gehrke had a question. Row eight, please.

Jochen Gehrke – Deutsche Bank

Thank you. Jochen Gehrke, Deutsche Bank. Three questions, if I may. First of all, in the fourth quarter, the other operating results were a main contributor to overall EBIT and so this was the highest percentage if you look at the year in several slices. Mr. Pötsch, tell us the dynamic behind that and please tell us what we can expect for 2012 in particular with regards to the provisions that will be withdrawn.

And then the second question is for Mr. Martin Hofmann. You’re responsible for the truck group, so maybe you can tell us briefly how the management structure works, how the two independent companies will be brought together, what kind of steering committee you’re founding. And in particular, with regard to MAN, in the fourth quarter, if I understood what I read correctly, you made some additional purchases. Is this an opportunistic approach due to the fact that you’re above 50 now? Or does this indicate that for the next one or two years, you’re going to try to achieve a profit assumption agreement.

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