Germany's Volkswagen will have a “positive result” in the second quarter and would consider giving sports car maker Porsche a loan if asked, VW's chief financial officer Hans Dieter Poetsch said.
“We will surely end with a positive result,” Poetsch told Reuters, referring to the second quarter.
“We've reduced volumes and inventories which is why we have a strong cash flow. In the second quarter we will continue on this path. Net liquidity will remain at a high level,” he said on the sidelines of a conference in Bayreuth
Net liquidity in the first quarter was more than €10 billion. Poetsch added that VW, Europe's largest auto maker, is also on track to having a “positive result for the full year.”
Many other carmakers around the world are running big losses due to a collapse in sales caused by the global economic crisis.
Asked whether VW would consider giving troubled Porsche a loan, Poetsch said: “One would have to examine such a case if it arose.”
“If we give a loan, enough collateral needs to be there. Loans can only be given at an arm's length principle. There are no exceptions,” he said.
Porsche amassed a €9 billion debt pile in an aborted attempt to acquire 75% of VW votes, and has looked to rescue itself by uniting with its cash-rich subsidiary.
Porsche has said that it has received a €700 million ($975 million) loan from VW. However, Poetsch declined comment and said he was not aware of any request from Porsche.
Poetsch added that an agreement to create an integrated company with Porsche would not be achieved within a couple of weeks as originally planned.
“It's a demanding task. Important questions need to be resolved beforehand. We're seeking ways, if there are any, to build an integrated firm,” he said. “At the moment nobody can say if it makes sense to carry on, because important questions need to be examined.”
Poetsch sits on a committee tasked with creating an “integrated” automotive company together with Porsche.
German Economy Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg was quoted on Saturday as saying that the chances of state aid for Porsche were fading.
Porsche said on Friday it was still in negotiations with the government and state bank KfW, after the bank voted against a €1.75 billion ($2.44 billion) loan request.
“The chances of a positive decision have declined objectively because of the negative vote by KfW, but of course we continue to look at every application seriously,” Guttenberg said in an advance copy of an interview to be published on Sunday by the Bild am Sonntag newspaper.
Focus magazine reported that the Qatar Investment Authority could buy more shares in Porsche than previously thought.
Qatar has been discussing the possible size of a stake with Porsche and is expected to reveal the outcome in two to three weeks, according to media reports.
However, Poetsch declined to comment on whether VW was involved in negotiations between Porsche and Qatar. Likewise he refused to comment on another magazine report that Daimler was interested in taking a stake in Porsche. (Reuters)