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2016-05-31 11:17

VW UNDER-FIRE: German automaker Volkswagen, reeling from an emissions scandal, said it was content with sales in the first quarter of 2016. Image: AFP/ Scott Olson

Frankfurt - Embattled German auto giant Volkswagen said Tuesday that it was satisfied with business in the first quarter, despite falling sales and profits, and it would stick to its targets for the whole year.

The statement said: "The VW group put in a solid performance in the first three months." 

Emissions scandal fallout

Chief executive Matthias Mueller said: "In view of the many challenges we're currently facing, we're satisfied overall with the start we made into what will undoubtedly be a challenging year.

"We have succeeded in limiting the economic fallout from the diesel scandal and chalk up respectable results in very difficult conditions." 

VW, currently engulfed in a massive emissions-cheating scandal, said net profit slumped by 20.1% to $2.6-billion in the period from January to March, on a 3.4% decline in sales to $55-billion.

$4-billion rise in profit

Underlying or operating profit rose by 3.4% to $4-billion , meaning the operating return on sales rose to 6.8% from 6.3%.

The number of vehicles sold edged up by 0.8% to 2.508-million units worldwide.

In view of the first-quarter performances, VW said it was "confirming our forecast for the whole year," with overall sales set to decline by "up to 5%."

The operating return on sales was projected to come out between 5.5 and 6.5%

VW is currently engulfed in a global engine-rigging scandal after it was revealed in September 2015 that it had installed emissions-cheating software in 11-million diesel engines worldwide.

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