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Volkswagen’s 1Q profit down by 72%

  Volkswagen AG, Europe’s biggest carmaker by sales, said on Wednesday that its net profit was down 72% in the first quarter as global demand for cars fell—a slight improvement on the preliminary figure it reported earlier this month.

Wolfsburg-based Volkswagen said its net profit fell to €263 million ($347 million) in the January-March period, down from the €929 million it earned a year earlier.

In a preliminary report last week, VW put Q1 earnings at €243 million, a 74% fall. Volkswagen confirmed on Wednesday that Q1 sales were down 11%, sliding to €24 billion from €27 billion.

Volkswagen said prospects for the rest of the year are still uncertain, and that the global economic environment will remain tough. “Global economic growth in 2009 is likely to be negative. The world’s automotive markets will be especially affected by this development and will decline substantially compared with the previous year,” the company said. (Economic Times)