VW earnings lower as Europe weighs on sales

Volkswagen sees 1st-quarter profit fall as weak European economy hurts sales

Associated Press

BERLIN (AP) -- Volkswagen AG says its first-quarter profit was down 38 percent compared with a year earlier as sagging demand in Europe pushed revenue slightly lower.

Europe's biggest automaker said Wednesday that it earned 1.95 billion euros ($3.15 billion) in the January-March period, compared with 3.15 billion euros a year earlier. First-quarter figures in 2012 were bolstered by revaluation of share options in Porsche, which has become one of the company's brands.

Revenue was down 1.6 percent to 46.57 billion euros from 47.33 billion euros. Volkswagen pointed to "negative effects from declining European markets."

The number of vehicles delivered rose 4.8 percent to 2.3 million. Volkswagen said it is "not completely immune to the intense competition and the impact this has on business" but reaffirmed its full-year revenue and earnings guidance.

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