VW posts $4.6 billion 2015 operating loss on emissions-cheating

Volkswagen Group today said it had a 4.1 billion euros ($4.61 billion) operating loss for 2015 as the company took a 16.2 billion euros hit to pay for its diesel emissions test-rigging scandal.

"The current crisis is having a huge impact on Volkswagen’s financial position," CEO Matthias Mueller said in a statement, adding that the "repercussions of the emissions issue are now quantifiable."

Excluding special items, the 12-brand group had a 12.8 billion euros operating profit, the company said. The 4.1 billion operating loss was calculated after deducting 16.2 billion euros to pay for the diesel emissions costs, and an additional 400 million euros to restructure commercial vehicles and passenger cars.

VW had previously set aside 6.7 billion euros to cover the costs of the emissions cheating.

Consolidated sales revenue last year rose by 5.4 percent to 213 billion euros, helped by improvements in the mix in the automotive business and the strong performance of the financial services division, alongside positive exchange rate effects, VW said.

The automaker forecast flat deliveries in 2016 and a drop in sales revenue of as much as 5 percent amid what the automaker called a "challenging environment." Its operating profit is projected to be between 5 percent and 6 percent of sales, compared with 6.3 percent in 2014.

VW cut its annual dividend 97 percent to 0.17 euros per preferred share. The stock traded 5.6 percent lower as of 3:22 p.m. in Frankfurt.

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