Audi says cost of foreign growth, new models to burden EBIT margin

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INGOLSTADT, Germany (Reuters) -- Audi is bracing for another drop in operating profit this year as the cost of foreign expansion, new models and technologies keep burdening results.

The operating margin at Volkswagen Group's luxury division may slide to within the carmaker's 8-10 percent target range in 2014, from 10.1 percent in 2013, Audi said in annual results published on Tuesday.

Operating profit fell a lower-than-expected 6.2 percent last year to 5.03 billion euros ($6.98 billion), still beating the high-end estimate of 4.87 billion euros in a Reuters analyst poll.

Audi aims to increase deliveries in all regions this year after posting record sales of 1.58 million cars and SUVs in 2013. Higher deliveries may boost sales above 50 billion euros, a new record, from 49.9 billion euros in 2013, Audi said.

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