Volkswagen shares jump on 2023 optimism

Volkswagen shares jump on 2023 optimism

570,000 all-electric vehicles to customers last year, a 26-percent increase on 2021
VW delivered more than 570,000 all-electric vehicles to customers last year, a 26-percent increase on 2021. Photo: JENS SCHLUETER / AFP/File
Source: AFP

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German auto giant Volkswagen on Friday unveiled an optimistic forecast for 2023 on expectations that global supply chain woes will ease, sending its shares soaring.

In results released ahead of schedule, the Wolfsburg-based group reported a net profit of 15.8 billion euros ($16.7 billion) for 2022, up 2.6-percent on the previous year.

Sales for the 10-brand group climbed by almost 12 percent to 279 billion euros, driven by demand for more expensive models.

Europe's largest carmaker said it delivered a "robust performance" in 2022 "despite ongoing supply disruptions and headwinds from higher raw material and energy costs".

The group expects vehicle deliveries to rise to around 9.5 million this year, up from 8.3 million in 2022.

"We expect the supply chain bottlenecks to gradually ease in the current year, allowing us to service the high order backlog," said chief financial officer Arno Antlitz.

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Revenues are seen growing by 10-15 percent year-on-year, VW added.

Investors welcomed the positive outlook, which surpassed analyst expectations.

Shares in VW jumped 10 percent to 141.60 euros in late afternoon trading in Frankfurt.

Volkswagen's main rival Toyota sold more than 10 million vehicles last year, holding on to the title of the world's top-selling automaker for the third year running.

Electric shift

A lingering shortage in semiconductors and other Covid-related supply chain issues hobbled automakers around the world in 2022.

Surging energy costs in the wake of Russia's war in Ukraine added to the challenges confronting the industry.

Although VW's vehicle deliveries fell seven percent year-on-year in 2022 as a result of the difficult environment, the group said electric cars bucked the trend.

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VW delivered more than 570,000 all-electric vehicles to customers, a 26-percent increase on a year earlier.

The company said it was "on track" to meet its goal of having e-vehicles account for half of all deliveries in 2030, as part of an industry-wide shift towards zero-emissions engines.

Among the challenges listed for the year ahead, VW cited an uncertain economic outlook, volatile prices for materials and energy "and stricter emission-related requirements".

The European Union is planning landmark legislation that would ban sales of new petrol or diesel-engine cars from 2035.

But the issue has run into opposition from economic powerhouse Germany, which wants assurances from Brussels that synthetic fuels could still be used in engines after 2035.

EU countries on Friday delayed a crucial vote on the legislation, which was due to take place next week.

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Source: AFP

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