Audi AG said on Tuesday its pre-tax profit fell 10,6 per cent in the first half of the year due to the strength of the euro and declining sales in its native German market.

Audi AG said on Tuesday its pre-tax profit fell 10,6 per cent in the first half of the year due to the strength of the euro and declining sales in its native German market.
The Volkswagen Group luxury brand, which is based in Ingolstadt, said it was becoming more difficult to match previous years' profits. Audi generated close to a third of parent group VW's profit last year, but said its first half pre-tax earnings fell to R4,26 billion, hit partly by the continued strength of the euro.
"The macro-economic conditions are making it increasingly difficult to match the high full-year earnings of recent years," a spokesman for Audi AG said. It said it expected no lasting economic recovery in Western Europe before the start of 2004.
Audi said global sales rose to 388 000 cars in the first half of 2003 from 383 500 a year ago, its highest sales figures ever, but the manufacturer sold 4,1 per cent fewer cars in Germany, Europe's biggest car market.
Unit sales also declined in some other European markets and in the United States, although booming sales in China, where it started assembling A4 saloons earlier this year, meant sales outside Germany rose overall in the first six months.
Audi, which recently launched the A8 executive saloon and the A3 hatchback, said the Volkswagen Group’s revenues were up 1,8 per cent to R96,5 billion.
VW expects its profits to fall this year and announced last month that its operating profit had more than halved in the second quarter due to a strong euro, new product costs and slumping demand for its soon-to-be-replaced models.

Original article from Car