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Volkswagen's core VW brand swings to profit

From| May 04,2007

FRANKFURT (Reuters) -- Volkswagen's core VW brand swung to a profit in the first quarter as the group published operating results for its individual brands today for the first time since its 2001 annual report.

The world's fourth-largest carmaker, which had posted preliminary group figures for the quarter on April 19, said earnings at its Volkswagen brand rose by 435 million euros to reach 386 million euros ($527 million) in the three months to end-March.

Its luxury brand Audi, which includes the Lamborghini marque, increased operating profits by 56 million euros to 401 million euros in the quarter.

Volkswagen's highly successful Czech brand Skoda grew quarterly operating earnings by 29 million euros to 172 million euros while the group's struggling Spanish nameplate SEAT managed to substantially improve its result but still posted an 11 million euro operating loss during the reporting period.

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