FRANKFURT -- Volkswagen Group may suspend its 2015 dividend payout as the costs of its diesel-emissions scandal rise higher, the German news agency DPA reported.
"There is no sign that shareholders might even be able to hope for a single cent," the agency reported, citing a VW board member as its source.
The scandal could cost VW up to 30 billion euros ($34 billion) in vehicle recalls, legal action and fines around the world, according to analysts' estimates. VW has admitted that up to 11 million VW, Audi, Skoda and Seat models sold globally may have been fitted with software to cheat official pollution tests.
VW said it will provide details of a dividend outlook at its annual results press conference on April 28 and that no decision has yet been made.
The Porsche-Piech families and the German state of Lower Saxony would be the biggest losers if the automaker fails to pay a dividend. The Porsche-Piech clan own 52.2 percent of VW's ordinary stock through Porsche Automobil Holding SE. Lower Saxony has 20 percent.
Last year VW Group paid out 2.3 billion euros to shareholders, amounting to 21 percent of its after-tax profit, Reuters reported.