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Audi Group forecasts operating margin dip after record 2022

The Audi Group expects its operating margin to dip this year as supply shortages ease and sales volumes begin to rebound.

The group – comprising Audi, Bentley, Ducati and Lamborghini – set a 12.2% margin last year, thanks to an increase in the value per vehicle sold and positive effects from hedging raw materials.

This meant it made a €7.6 billion (£6.7bn) operating profit in 2022, up 37.3% compared with the previous record set the year prior.

However, the Group now predicts this will fall somewhere between 9% and 11% in 2023, coinciding with a rebound in sales volumes as the supply shortage eases.

Audi finance chief Jürgen Rittersberger said: “If we look at 2023, what I can say is that supply situation will improve and has already improved. So from my point of view, we will see a kind of a normalisation this year. 

“But on the other hand, there was or there will be still some disruptions coming from the well-known problems: logistic chains, but also supply chains, especially [for] semiconductors. So I think 2023 is a kind of normalisation but not fully normal.”

This mirrors the strategy of the wider Volkswagen Group (the Audi Group’s parent company), which forecasts a stabilisation in margins at 7.9%.

This is because the relaxation of the semiconductor crisis is expected to tip the balance back towards buyers by the third quarter of 2023, Volkswagen Group chief financial officer Arno Antlitz said earlier this week. In turn, the competition among manufacturers will heat up.

Read more: Investors worry as Volkswagen prioritises growth over profit

As such, the Audi Group expects its sales to grow from 1.6 million last year to between 1.8 million and 1.9 million in 2023.

This volume increase will be led by Audi. Of the Group’s 1,638,638 deliveries in 2022, just 24,407 did not come from the German brand. 

In turn, high-end siblings Bentley and Lamborghini – which both set record sales volumes in 2022 as the Volkswagen Group used its most profitable brands to reinforce its coffers – may well reduce their delivery targets.

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