BERLIN (Bloomberg) -- Volkswagen Group said its emissions scandal will delay its publication of last year's results, as the automaker struggles to determine the financial impact of its cheating.
The company didn't say when it will publish the results, originally scheduled for March 10. It will also delay its annual shareholders meeting, which was scheduled for April 21.
VW said it still plans to publish the results of an investigation into the origins of the scandal in the second half of April, adding that the findings will clarify "the background and responsibilities" related to it.
The company will set new dates for its annual press conference and the shareholders meeting, VW said in a statement today. It cited "remaining open questions and the resulting valuation calculations relating to the diesel emissions issue," as reasons for the delays.
VW has grappled with the fallout from the diesel-emissions scandal since it admitted last September to rigging the software of about 480,000 diesel vehicles in the U.S. About 11 million cars are affected globally.
The company has already revised its earnings targets and set aside 6.7 billion euros ($7.5 billion) to cover the cost of repairs. CEO Matthias Mueller has cautioned that sum will not suffice to cover the full extent of damages, including fines and measures to win back disgruntled customers.
PricewaterhouseCoopers, Volkswagen’s auditors, said in October they couldn’t determine whether the company’s third-quarter provisions for the scandal were sufficient. If Volkswagen can’t get its auditors to sign off on the full-year report without caveats, it would raise concern among ratings agencies, large investors and lenders.
VW still to come up with a technical fix for rigged diesel cars in the U.S. and is facing a growing number of legal claims. In Europe, the company is facing demands from the European Commission and lawmakers to consider compensating VW drivers in a way comparable with a scheme in the U.S. where the carmaker has promised goodwill packages worth $1,000 each to tens of thousands of owners of VW vehicles.
Top players on VW's supervisory board have been meeting more frequently lately to discuss the crisis, including how to account for the scandal in the company's annual results. The inner circle of the 20-member board on Wednesday discussed to what extent VW would need to incorporate provisions for the scandal in the 2015 results, a person familiar with the matter told Reuters.
Porsche Automobil Holding SE, the family holding company that controls Volkswagen, also postponed its results and general meeting, saying the scandal may affect last year’s results. It had originally forecast profit after tax between 800 million euros and 1.8 billion euros.
VW said it expects an operating group result before special items that is "at the level of the prior year within the expected range for fiscal 2015." VW posted a record 12.7 billion euros of group operating profit in 2014.
Analysts said the delay was a sensible step.
"Under such extreme circumstances, this decision is understandable," Frankfurt-based Bankhaus Metzler analyst Juergen Pieper said. "Maybe they need more time for the auditors to finalize work or realized they need to prepare for higher provisions," he said.
Evercore ISI analyst Arndt Ellinghorst welcomed the profit guidance. "Underlying operations have not seen a notable deterioration as a result of the diesel scandal and accompanying negative headlines," he said.
Germany's Securities Trading Act compels companies to publish their annual reports no later than four months after the end of their fiscal year.
Reuters contributed to this report