Frankfurt: German luxury carmaker Audi AG said Monday that its first-quarter operating profit fell by 29% as the global economic crisis ate into sales.
Ingolstadt-based Audi said its operating, or pretax, profit was down to euro363 million ($479 million) in the January-March period from euro514 million a year earlier. Audi, a subsidiary of Volkswagen AG, Europe’s largest carmaker, did not immediately report net profit.
Sales for the quarter were down 19% to euro6.7 billion from the previous year’s euro8.3 billion.
Audi said it expected the rest of 2009 to remain difficult.
“In light of the continuing global economic downturn, the Audi group expects to see a sharp drop in worldwide demand for cars in 2009,” it said in a statement. “Major sales regions, most notably North America and Europe, will be affected by the negative development.”