European economy boosts Volkswagen profits

Volkswagen’s profits have risen in the first half of the year as the German car maker benefited from increased sales in a growing European economy and it moved past one-time costs for its diesel emissions scandal in the US.

After-tax profit rose to 6.6 billion euros ($A9.7 billion) from 3.6 billion euros in the same period in 2016, when the company had more than two billion euros in charges related to its diesel troubles.

Sales revenue rose 7.3 per cent to 115.8 billion euros.

Chief financial officer Frank Witter said on Thursday the results were boosted by increased sales “above all in Europe and also in North and South America, which is particularly encouraging”.

The earnings performance overcame flat results at Volkswagen’s luxury branch Audi, whereas the mass-market brand Skoda increased operating profit by 25 per cent, helped by the new version of its Kodiaq SUV.

The company lost market share in Western Europe, to 21.6 per cent from 22.1 per cent, as sales growth fell short of the w…

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