The Volkswagen Group made a solid start to fiscal year 2023. Despite the challenging global environment, operating profit before negative valuation effects, mainly from commodity hedging activities saw a strong increase in the first quarter.
Sales revenue grew by 22 percent to EUR 76 billion primarily driven by a recovery in sales volumes in Europe and North America. In addition, improved pricing had a positive effect.
Operating profit before valuation effects from commodity hedging increased by 35 percent to EUR 7.1 billion. The corresponding margin increased to 9.3 percent, and was therefore above the forecast target corridor for the Volkswagen Group of 7.5 to 8.5 percent.
Operating profit decreased year-on-year from EUR 8.3 billion to EUR 5.7 billion due to negative non-cash effects mainly from commodity hedging outside hedge accounting of EUR 1.3 billion in Q1 2023. In the prior-year quarter, operating profit had benefited from positive non-cash effects from commodity hedging of EUR 3.2 billion. Operating return on sales was 7.5 percent in the first quarter.
The Automotive Division generated net cash of EUR 2.2 billion in Q1 2023. Working capital suffered from continuing disruptions in the supply chains increased by EUR 1.9 billion year-on-year. Net cash flow also contained EUR 0.4 billion cash out from M&A transactions in the quarter.
Net liquidity in the automotive business decreased to EUR 38.4 billion, as expected in the first quarter due to the payment of the special dividend- in connection with the Porsche AG IPO. However, this decline was smaller than the special dividend distributed to shareholders.
The Group continued to systematically implement its BEV strategy, with a 42 percent year-on-year increase in deliveries in Q1. Deliveries totaled 141,000 BEV vehicles, representing a share of around 7 percent of total deliveries.
Overall deliveries continued to recover and were up 7.5 percent year-on-year. In March 2023, global deliveries increased significantly by 23.9 percent year-on-year. Deliveries in China fell by 14.5 percent in the first quarter, but the Group is confident that due to the expanded model range and China-specific technology, deliveries in this region will recover during the remainder of the year. With a high order book of 1.8 million vehicles in Western Europe, including 260,000 BEVs, customer demand for Volkswagen Group vehicles remained strong.
Based on the solid figures, Volkswagen Group confirms its outlook for the 2023 fiscal year issued on March 3, 2023.
Arno Antlitz, CFO, Volkswagen Group, said: “Volkswagen Group has made an encouraging start to 2023 with strong growth in revenues and operating profit before negative valuation effects from commodity hedging transactions. Based on this solid performance and an order book of 1.8 million vehicles at the end of Q1, we confirm our financial outlook for 2023.”
“Volkswagen is committed to investing in its global key growth regions. In Q1, we announced plans for a new factory in the US for the iconic Scout brand in the highly attractive rugged SUV and pick-up segment. We also announced the Group’s first overseas battery cell factory in Canada and launched the all-new ID.71 at the Auto Shanghai.”
Continued expansion into the Chinese and North American markets
Led by the “In China, for China” approach, the Group has introduced the new ‘100%TechCo’ project, which combines vehicle and component R&D and procurement. This is expected reduce development times for new products and technologies by around 30 percent. The Group plans to invest EUR 1 billion to establish a new center for innovation for fully connected electric cars, headquartered in Hefei. Volkswagen continues to work with on-ground partners, such as the joint venture between CARIAD and Horizon Robotics, to accelerate the development of automated driving in China and enable faster software development of China-specific technology concepts. The Group also unveiled the ID.7 in China, a further milestone on the path to a purely electric model range.
In North America, the Group is ramping up its global battery business with the Group’s first overseas battery cell factory in Canada. New BEV models like the ID. Buzz will further enlarge our portfolio of full-electric vehicles in the US. The Group is also driving the “Electrify America Boost Plan”, doubling the number of charging points by 2026 to 8.000. By electrifying the iconic “Scout” brand, the Group is entering the highly attractive truck and rugged SUVs segment. Therefore, plans to expand US charging capabilities are complemented by those to build a factory capable of producing 200,000 EVs a year in South Carolina.
Brand Groups Results
In the brand group Volume, vehicle sales increased by 36 percent compared to the prior period, even more than deliveries at 30 percent. Operating profit came in at EUR 1.7 billion. Operating margin increased by 1.7 percentage points to 5.3 percent.
The Premium brand group recorded a solid performance, with an operating profit of EUR 1.8 billion and an operating margin of 10.8 percent. Negative effects from fair value valuation of EUR 0.4 billion impacted operating profit in the first quarter of 2023. Net cash flow was impacted by investments in BEV production capacities and a build-up of working capital.
In Brand Group Sport & Luxury, Porsche’s operating margin remained stable in Q1 at 18.5 percent thanks to higher volumes, improved pricing, and better product mix. The automotive net cash flow is up from solid prior year level.
TRATON reported a unit sales increase by 25 percent, with overall sales revenues up 31 percent driven by strong volume growth, positive price-mix effects and vehicle services. Operating margin was 8 percent (4 percent in, Q1 2022) due to better capacity utilization and positive price/mix compensating for higher input costs. Net cash flow recorded a strong increase despite a further build-up of working capital as a result of the improved operating performance and proceeds from the intragroup sale of Scania Finance Russia. Because of the solid start TRATON increased its margin guidance for FY 2023 for return on sales to a range of 7 to 8% (before 6 to 7%).
CARIAD saw sales revenues improve by 53 percent, driven by license revenues with brand groups. Operating profit was stable with EUR -0.4 billion, in addition investments in software platforms were made.
Capital markets day on June 21
On Capital Markets Day, the Volkswagen Group will provide a strategy update. The presentation will focus on the new team, the new entrepreneurial spirit, our strong technology platforms and how our brand groups will benefit from it, our regional strategies and our future financial targets.
1) ID.7 – The vehicle has not gone on sale yet.