FRANKFURT -- Volkswagen Group lowered its full-year outlook for vehicle deliveries, warning of slowing demand even as profit rose on higher demand for Porsche and Skoda cars.
VW Group's third-quarter adjusted operating profit jumped 37 percent to 4.82 billion euros ($5.36 billion), with analysts at Evercore ISI estimating Porsche's profit margin at 16.8 percent, well ahead of Audi with 7.5 percent and the VW brand at 4.1 percent.
"The divisions beat expectations which will help the perception of quality of earnings," Evercore's Arndt Ellinghorst said in a note.
Nine-month adjusted operating profit rose to 14.8 billion euros ($16.4 billion), up from 13.3 billion euros.
VW said a slowdown in global demand would result in 2019 group vehicle deliveries being in line with year-earlier figures, adjusting its earlier forecast, which said they would rise slightly.
"Despite the gain in market share, the Volkswagen Group anticipates that vehicle markets will contract faster than previously anticipated in many regions of the world," VW Group said on Wednesday.
"We are a bit more cautious, and that pretty much applies to all regions," Chief Financial Officer Frank Witter said in an interview with Bloomberg TV. "We know what needs to be done -- get our act together on vehicle launches and be very cautious on costs and expenses."
Increased demand for higher-margin VW Tiguan and Touareg models helped to offset an overall drop in sales of the VW brand in the nine months ending September, with Porsche and Skoda deliveries up 8 percent and 15.3 percent respectively.
Revenue for its passenger cars division is still expected to rise 5 percent this year and the company reiterated that it expects an operating profit margin for the passenger cars division and the group to be in the range of 6.5 percent to 7.5 percent for the full year.
Volkswagen said special items from legal risks, caused by its 2015 diesel-emissions cheating scandal, had fallen to 1.3 billion euros from 2.4 billion euros in the year-earlier period.
In a sign of the competitive pressure, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and PSA Group are exploring a combination, a potential deal that would challenge Volkswagen’s European dominance.
Earlier this week Ford cut its forecast for operating profit, blaming a slowdown in demand in China and other headwinds.
Bloomberg contributed to this report