VW Group records mounting losses after pandemic-induced fall in demand

Group calls the first half of 2020 “the most challenging in the history of the company” due to Covid-19 fallout.

The Volkswagen Group has detailed a crushing blow to its financial position, caused by the coronavirus pandemic, in its first-half results.

The car making giant published an operating loss of €800m (AUD$1.3bn) for the January to June period. Though companies such as Renault have posted far greater losses, the VW Group’s figures compare to a 10-billion euro adjusted operating profit in the year-earlier period.

Vehicle deliveries fell year-on-year by over 27 per cent, down to 3.9m. Sales revenue decreased by 23.2 per cent as a result. The group has slashed its dividend paid to shareholders by around a quarter to reflect the losses.

VW Group’s Chief Financial Officer Frank Witter has called the first half of the year “one of the most challenging in the history of our company due to the Covid-19 pandemic”. However, a recovery is in progress with a “positive trend”, with Witter casting a “cautiously optimistic” look to the second half of the year.

Few makers have managed to navigate the pandemic without suffering losses. However, VW’s figures contrast with the PSA Group, who yesterday posted a profit in the first half of 2020.

Lawrence Allan

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