The largest share of the special items amounting to €16.2 billion comprises provisions for the emissions issue, among other things for pending technical modifications and customer-related measures as well as global legal risks. This takes account of the identifiable risks in the 2015 annual financial statements in connection with the emissions issue.
The share of operating profit attributable to the Chinese joint ventures, whose business is not included in the Group's sales revenue and operating result, marginally exceeded the excellent prior-year figure following a strong fourth quarter and on account of exchange rate effects. Due to the high extraordinary charges, the Volkswagen Group recorded a consolidated loss before and after tax of EUR 1.3 billion and EUR 1.4 billion, respectively.
"The Volkswagen Group's operations are in great shape, as the figures before special items for the past fiscal year clearly show," explained the Chairman of the Board of Management, Matthias Müller. "Were it not for the sizable provisions we made for all repercussions of the emissions issue that are now quantifiable, we would be reporting on yet another successful year overall. The current crisis – as the figures presented today also reveal – is having a huge impact on Volkswagen's financial position. Yet we have the firm intention and the means to handle the difficult situation we are in using our own resources," Müller added.
The Volkswagen Group's financial situation is favorable. The sale of the shares in Suzuki, among other things, added a total of EUR 2.8 billion to the Automotive Division's net cash flow, lifting it to EUR 8.9 billion. Net liquidity in the Automotive Division rose to EUR 24.5 (17.6) billion.
After considering all the circumstances, the Board of Management and Supervisory Board will propose to the Annual General Meeting of Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft on June 22, 2016 that a dividend be paid. This is proposed to be €0.11 per ordinary share and €0.17 per preferred share.
The Board of Management estimates that, on the whole, deliveries to customers of the Volkswagen Group in fiscal year 2016 will be on a level with the past year due to volume growth in China. Depending on the economic conditions – particularly in South America and Russia – and the exchange rate development and in light of the emissions issue, the Board of Management expects that sales revenue for the Volkswagen Group may be down by as much as 5 percent on the previous year. In terms of the Group's operating profit, the Board of Management anticipates an operating return on sales of between 5.0 and 6.0 percent.
"This year we are again operating in an exceedingly challenging environment in which global demand for new vehicles is declining, exchange rates and interest rates remain highly volatile and competition in many of our markets is intensifying. Added to this is the emissions issue, the extensive clarification of which will also be a dominant feature of the Volkswagen Group's work in the current year," Chief Financial Officer Frank Witter explained. "Regardless of this, we are confident that the Volkswagen Group will make good progress on its chosen path."
Volkswagen presents 2015 consolidated financial statements:
Charts can be found in the attached file.
Prospects for 2016:
The Volkswagen Group's brands will press ahead with their product initiative in 2016, modernizing and expanding their offering by introducing new models. Our goal is to offer all customers the mobility and innovations they need, sustainably strengthening our competitive position in the process.
We expect that, on the whole, deliveries to customers of the Volkswagen Group in 2016 will be on a level with the previous year amid persistently challenging market conditions, with a growing volume in China.
In addition to the emissions issue, the highly competitive environment as well as interest rate and exchange rate volatility and fluctuations in raw materials prices all pose challenges. We anticipate a positive effect from the efficiency programs implemented by all brands and from the modular toolkits. Depending on the economic conditions – particularly in South America and Russia – and the exchange rate development and in light of the emissions issue, we estimate that 2016 sales revenue for the Volkswagen Group may be down by as much as 5 percent on the prior-year figure. In terms of the Group's operating profit, we anticipate an operating return on sales of between 5.0 and 6.0 percent in 2016.
In the Passenger Cars Business Area we expect a sharp decrease in sales revenue, with an operating return on sales in the region of 5.5 – 6.5 percent. With sales revenue in the Commercial Vehicles Business Area likely to remain essentially unchanged, the operating return on sales should be between 2.0 and 4.0 percent. We expect sales revenue in the Power Engineering Business Area to be perceptibly lower than the prior-year figure, with a significantly reduced operating profit. For the Financial Services Division, we are forecasting sales revenue and operating profit at the prior-year level. Disciplined cost and investment management and the continuous optimization of our processes are integral elements of the Volkswagen Group's strategy.
The Annual Media Conference and Investor Conference will be held in Wolfsburg on April 28, 2016.