A strong Audi performance in sales. A healthy result after six months: in spite of the critical global situation regarding semi-conductor availability, the Group achieved positive results, with record deliveries for Audi. From January to June the company delivered 981,681 automobiles to customers worldwide, thus concluding the best first half in the history of Audi.
The positive trend in volume is also reflected in the financial performance: sales revenue amounted to €29.2 billion. An operating profit of €3.1 billion testifies to high customer demand, a strong sales performance, and continued cost discipline. Moreover, in the first half-year, Audi benefited from positive valuation effects in securing raw materials.
The operating return on sales, at 10.7 percent, therefore lies within the strategic target range of 9 to 11 percent. Net cash flow amounting to €5.5 billion reflects the financial strength of the Audi Group.
“The positive trend at the start of the year continued in the months to June: we have brought the first half-year to a successful conclusion. Our financial performance shows that we have handled the challenges of the global shortage of semiconductors well, thanks to comprehensive counter-measures, and have been able to take advantage of the opportunities of the positive market development,” says Jürgen Rittersberger, Board Member for Finance and Legal Affairs at AUDI AG.
“The high numbers of vehicles delivered, even exceeding levels before the crisis, and good profitability are a clear confirmation of the capabilities of our company and the attractiveness of our product portfolio.”
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Global deliveries at a record level
Customers‘ continuing high level of interest in Audi models led to record deliveries in the first half-year: from January to June, the company delivered 981,681 Audi-brand automobiles to customers worldwide – a rise of 38.8 percent compared to the previous year (2020: 707,225).
A total of 518,853 deliveries (2020: 354,232) also made the period from April to June the strongest quarter for sales in the company history. On the Chinese market, Audi reached its best-ever result in the first half with 418,749 deliveries (+38.4 percent). In the USA too, Audi achieved its best half-year, with 121,835 vehicles delivered (+59.9 percent).
Momentum was also strong in Europe, with an increase of 32.7 percent (351,588 vehicles). Especially with all-electric and plug-in hybrid automobiles, the premium manufacturer recorded a significant increase, with some 80,000 deliveries, more than twice as many as in the same period of the previous year (2020: approx. 36,000).
Furthermore, SUV models and top-range vehicles experienced high growth rates.
“Increased demand from our customers and the successful sales performance worldwide were strong drivers of growth in the first half-year. In this way we are continuing our successful development to become a leading provider of sustainable premium mobility,” says Hildegard Wortmann, Board Member for Sales and Marketing at AUDI AG.
Electrification is moving ahead in Ingolstadt: Audi is gradually phasing out production of combustion-engine vehicles up to 2033, and the company intends to be carbon-neutral by 2050 at the latest.
The broadly based electric offensive will be consistently pushed forwards at the same time: with the new e-Tron GT Quattro and RS e-Tron GT models, and the first all-electric car in the compact segment, Q4 e-Tron, and Q4 Sportback e-Tron, the electric portfolio has expanded by four additional models.
This means that in the current year already, Audi is launching more electric than combustion-engine vehicles onto the market. By 2025 the company plans to have over 20 all-electric models in its range.
Earnings surpassed pre-crisis levels
In the first six months, the Audi Group increased sales revenue by 42.7 percent to €29,212 million (2020: 20,476 million). Compared to the previous year, marked by global lockdowns, turnover in the first half-year rose in all vehicle segments, accompanied by a favorable product and regional mix as well as good achievement of price goals.
High demand for SUVs had a positive effect on revenue: Audi’s Q models were well received by customers in many markets, especially in the USA and China. Revenue for the Lamborghini brand, at €961 million (2020: 766 million), was also higher than in the previous year.
Operating profits within the target Audi performance
For the first half-year, the Audi Group achieved operating profits amounting to€3,113 million (2020: -750 million). The operating return on sales in the first half rose to 10.7 (2020: -3.7) percent and therefore lies within the strategic target range of 9 to 11 percent.
In addition to the strong performance in the core business and continuing cost discipline, the high level of profits and return on sales was reinforced by positive valuation effects especially for securing raw materials amounting to €0.9 billion compared to the previous year.
For the first half of 2021, the Audi Group reports pre-tax profits of €3,875 million (2020: 86 million). This includes a high level of profit from financial items in the first six months at €762 million (2020: 836 million), reflecting particular healthy business in China.
Net cash flow stood at €5,512 million (2020: 1,953 million), thus demonstrating that the Audi Group is financially robust and well-positioned for the future. In addition to high profits and continued investment discipline, the Four Rings benefited from seasonal factors and effects carried over from the last quarter of 2020 with its high volume.
Moderate optimism for the rest of the year
Looking at the whole of 2021, the company expects growing demand in global car markets. At the same time, there are signs that the months ahead will also be marked by a critical supply situation for semiconductors.
Audi continues to work intensely on counter-measures, but in view of the continuing shortage, it is not expected to be possible to compensate in full in the course of the year for lost production. Furthermore, the Audi Group does not expect further substantial positive valuation effects from securing raw materials in the second half of the year.
Nevertheless, the Four Rings take a cautiously optimistic view of the remaining months of the year: accordingly, the Audi Group expects vehicle deliveries of the Audi brand and sales revenue to be significantly higher than in the previous year. An operating return on sales in the planned range of between 7 and 9 percent is expected.
Based on the positive trend of the first half-year and considering the higher seasonal expenditure in the second half, the Audi Group is adjusting its forecast for net cash flow to a figure between €4.5 and €5.5 billion.