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VW's third-quarter profit falls
Volkswagen's third-quarter underlying profit fell by a fifth as the deepening slump in European car markets and costs of a technology overhaul weighed on the automaker's results.

Operating profit declined to 2.34 billion euros ($3.04 billion) from 2.89 billion euros a year earlier, the company said today.

Sales rose 27 percent to 48.8 billion euros.

VW reaffirmed its goals to increase vehicle sales and revenue for the group in 2012 and to match last year's operating profit of a record 11.27 billion euros.

"Although the times aren't easy, it's up to us to systematically continue along our chosen path," CEO Martin Winterkorn said in a statement. "We therefore remain committed to our ambitious goals for 2012, despite growing headwinds."

VW said the increasingly worsening economic situation in western Europe burdened the auto industry between July and September.

"VW's revenues look very good and operating profit was in line," said Juergen Pieper, an analyst with Bankhaus Metzler in Frankfurt. "Volkswagen's performance from a sales perspective is certainly the best worldwide."

VW is saddled with costs to roll out its new MQB architecture that underpins the latest-generation VW Golf, Audi A3 and other models.

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