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Corporate Reports

Carmaker Audi races to record sales, but tight markets slow profits

Last year, the German luxury automaker Audi sold more cars than ever before in company history. That record did not, however, translate into a higher profit as price cuts and development costs weighed heavily.

Record sales of 1.57 million cars boosted Audi revenues to 49.8 billion euros ($69 billion) in 2013, the top-of-the-range German carmaker announced March 11.

Despite the outstanding annual result, however, the Ingolstadt-based manufacturer transferred less income to its parent company, Volkswagen, than it had in the previous year. This was because net profit dropped 8 percent year-on-year to about 4 billion euros.

Expansion and new production sites marked 2013, Chief Executive Rupert Stadler said, pointing to investments to the tune of 3.6 billion euros, 10 percent more than Audi had made in the previous year.

Moreover, the 2013 sales record owed greatly to the success of Audi's newest A3 - the smallest version in the model's range. In addition, massive discounts to promote sales, especially in Europe, weighed on profits, the company announced on Tuesday.

Nevertheless, Audi remained in the top three of the world's premium carmakers, just behind BMW and ahead of Mercedes, both also from Germany.

In its guidance for 2014, the company announced that it would aim for revenues above 50 billion euros, with growth expected to come from all the main global markets, including Europe.

Workers will receive a one-time bonus of 6,900 euros for their 2013 performance, down from the 8,030 euros they had received a year earlier.

uhe/mkg (dpa, Reuters)

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