BERLIN -- Volkswagen AG, Europe's largest automaker, said third-quarter operating profit surged 46 percent on demand for Audi's revamped A6 sedan and the VW brand's Tiguan SUV.
Operating profit advanced to 2.89 billion euros ($4.05 billion) from 1.99 billion euros a year earlier, the Wolfsburg-based company said today on its Web site. Profit beat the 2.61 billion-euro average estimate of 15 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. Revenue gained 25 percent to 38.5 billion euros.
VW is expanding in China and the U.S. in a bid to surpass Toyota Motor Corp. as the world's biggest carmaker. VW has a goal of boosting deliveries of cars, SUVs and vans by 11 percent this year to a record 8 million units.
The maker of the Golf hatchback, VW's best-selling vehicle, plans to invest a record 62.4 billion euros over the next five years on plants, models and r&d to underpin its global expansion.
VW wants to hire more than 50,000 workers through 2018 as it targets more than 10 million autos a year.
"VW keeps performing well in an increasingly challenging market place," said Marc-Rene Tonn, a Hamburg-based M.M. Warburg analyst who recommends buying VW stock. "Expansion is fueled by a balanced model cycle and presence in key markets. VW's order books are full; they should be on track to achieving their 8 million sales target."
Volkswagen stuck to an earlier forecast that full-year EBIT and revenue will be "significantly higher" than in 2010. Net income more than tripled to 7.04 billion euros. Profit was impacted by a gain from the revaluation of an option linked to VW's planned combination with Porsche Automobil Holding SE.