Skoda's record sales and profits hide headwinds for the automaker that turned itself around from a derided Communist-era relic selling low-cost cars into one of the most successful brands in Volkswagen Group's sprawling empire.
Skoda faces the challenges of balancing its aggressive growth plans with the increasingly strident pay demands of workers in its two overstretched factories in its Czech home country.
Since 2007, Skoda has nearly doubled its vehicle sales to 1.2 million (by gaining ground in key western European markets such as Germany and through rapid growth in China, which is now its single-largest market.
Record deliveries last year generated 16.6 billion euros in revenue, also a record, and an operating profit of 1.6 billion euros. That translated into an operating margin of 9.7 percent, making Skoda one of the industry's most profitable automakers and putting it ahead of VW Group's traditional earnings powerhouse, Audi.