Nine-month results disappoint at VW
WOLFSBURG - Volkswagen AG reported a decline in nine-month earnings last week despite a 10 percent increase in revenues.
After-tax profits slipped 0.3 percent to DM1.502 billion (euro 761 million) from DM1.507 billion in the same period last year. Analysts expected a slight increase. Sales rose to DM110.1 billion from DM99.95 billion a year ago.
VW said its full-year profit might not match last year's. It blamed weakness in Latin America and lower-than-expected sales growth in Germany.
German investment bank Merck Finck cut its VW rating to 'underperformer' from 'market performer' following the results.
Opel to return to black in 2000
FRANKFURT - Adam Opel AG expects improved earnings in 1999 but will not return to profit until 2000, Chairman Robert Hendry said.
'This year will bring an initial improvement but no breakthrough yet,' Hendry told business daily Handelsblatt. The carmaker has reported a 'significant' operating loss for 1998 but declined to disclose its extent.
'Next year we will return to the black,' Hendry said.
Reuters News Service
Siemens profit rise surprises analysts
FRANKFURT - Siemens AG posted a 37 percent surge in 1998-1999 net profits, exceeding analysts' upbeat forecasts.
The German electronics and engineering group said preliminary net profits for the year ending September 30 rose to DM3.64 billion (euro 1.84 billion) from DM2.7 billion. Analysts had predicted earnings of DM3 billion to DM3.2 billion.
Revenues increased 14 percent to DM134.3 billion for the year. The latest figures do not include extraordinary gains from the series of divestments Siemens has made in the past year.
Siemens said it aims to lift net profit to DM4 billion in fiscal 2000, and DM4.5 billion in 2001.
Ford German unit heading for loss
STUTTGART - Ford Werke AG, Ford Motor Co.'s German subsidiary, is heading for a DM230 million (euro 116.5 million) loss in 1999 after making a net profit of DM146.2 million last year, a German magazine reported.
Ford Werke's 1999 sales are expected to fall to around DM25 billion from DM27.8 billion in 1998, according to Auto, Motor und Sport.
The report did not cite sources. Cologne-based Ford Werke was not available for immediate comment.
Ford Werke said in August that its pre-tax profit for the first half of the year fell to DM59 million from DM113 million in the same period last year.
Reuters News Service