German automaker Volkswagen said Friday that it achieved "better than expected" financial results in 2020 despite the coronavirus pandemic, citing factors including a rapid recovery in the Chinese market. The group now expects a "significant increase" in sales revenue in 2021.
The company's sales revenue amounted to 222.9 billion euros (270.2 billion U.S. dollars), down 11.8 percent from a year ago, mainly due to falling sales amid the pandemic, the company said in a statement. Nonetheless, sales revenue still outperformed sales volumes of 9.2 million vehicles, which registered a 16.4-percent drop.
Operating profit before special items amounted to 10.6 billion euros, despite the effects of the pandemic and 500 million euros for restructuring measures. Earning after tax stood at 8.824 billion euros, 37 percent less than in 2019.
"The financial results now available are far better than originally expected and show what our company is capable of achieving, especially in a crisis," Frank Witter, member of the Group Board of Management, said in the statement.
The company cited effective crisis management, the rapid recovery of its largest single market, China, and the more stable premium and financial services business as key to its strong performance last year.
The group sold 9.2 million vehicles in fiscal year 2020 and slightly increased its share of the global passenger car market from 12.9 percent to 13.0 percent. A total of 422,000 electric vehicles were delivered to customers, three times as many as in the preceding year, the company said.
Witter also said the company intends "to carry over the strong momentum from the significantly better second half into the current year." The company said it expects the sales revenues of the Volkswagen Group and the passenger cars business in 2021 to be significantly higher than the prior-year figure.