Page last updated at 11:03 GMT, Thursday, 30 October 2008

VW defies the economic slowdown

Volkswagen Eos

Volkswagen has resisted the economic slowdown and reported growing three-month profits.

Net profit from July to September rose 28% to 1.2bn euros ($1.6bn; 950m) boosted by sales in emerging markets.

Improved demand in China, Russia and India helped offset slackening sales in Europe and the US.

VW says it continues to believe that its deliveries, sales and profits will exceed last year's levels despite the "difficult environment".

"We are confirming our forecast for 2008, despite the dramatic deterioration in global economic conditions and the automotive industry environment in recent months," said VW's chief financial officer Hans Dieter Poetsch.

The company, which is in the process of being taken over by Porsche, said its diverse range of brands had given it a competitive advantage.

VW owns marques such as Audi, Lamborghini, Bentley, Skoda and Seat.

Its shares have had a bizarre week of trading since Porsche announced on Sunday that it had options to take its ownership of VW up to 74%.

The shortage of available shares left hedge funds scrambling to close their short positions and sent the share price soaring, briefly making it the world's most valuable company by market capitalisation.

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