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by Matt Brogan

On the back of record sales in Australia, Audi Group has made an operating profit of EUR 348 million (AUD $560 million) in the third quarter of 2009.

The operating return of 5.4 per cent – while down on last year’s eight per cent return – places Audi among the industry’s top performers, and is pleasing news to Audi’s board member for finance and organisation, Mr Alex Strotbek.

“The figure was diminished not just by the general economic situation but also by expenditure necessitated by product launches such as the A8 and A1, as well as by the three-week summer production break in August”, he said.

A total of 9612 Audis have been sold in Australia the first 10 months of 2009.

In October, 1022 cars were sold, up 45 per cent on October 2008, representing the 58th straight month of growth for the company.

2010_audi_a5_actr34_fd_2_815Between July and September Audi Group generated a revenue of EUR 7.2 billion (AUD $11.6 billion), which Strotbek says will help investments in future developments.

“These successes mean we can continue to cover all investment in new technologies such as electric mobility and more efficient models from our operating cash flow from operations.”

Almost EUR 1 billion will be spent at both the Ingolstadt and Neckarsulm plants before 2011, focusing on the A3/A3 Sportback, A5 Sportback, A6, A7 and A8, as well as developing a new Transmissions and Emissions Centre and a Carbon Fibre Competence Centre.

Audi also plans to release the fully electric e-tron sports car (showcased at September’s Frankfurt Motor Show) as a low-volume model in 2012.

Up to 100 engineers will be employed in Audi’s e-performance work group to further enhance the company’s electric ambitions.

by Tim Beissmann