The Audi Group has started off 2023 with strong delivery figures in nearly all core regions. In the first quarter, the brand group delivered some 422,000 Audi, Bentley, and Lamborghini vehicles – around 8 percent more than in the same period last year. The improved supply situation for semiconductors allowed the company to better meet the high demand for Audi models, in Europe and the USA in particular. Revenue increased to €16.9/$18.6 billion. The operating profit climbed to €1.8/$2.0 billion, while the operating margin of 10.8 percent was at the upper end of the strategic target corridor. The 43 percent increase in deliveries of electric cars demonstrates that the brand group is on the right track. In the company’s ongoing electrification journey, Audi has picked up considerable speed: In the largest model offensive in Audi’s history, the brand has announced the launch of around 20 new models between late 2023 and late 2025, more than ten of which will be all-electric.
The entire brand group started 2023 with a strong first quarter. With 421,824 vehicles delivered (Q1 2022: 390,826), the Audi, Bentley, and Lamborghini brands delivered 7.9 percent more cars than the previous year’s figure. Thanks to the improved supply situation for semiconductors, the Audi brand delivered 415,684 (Q1 2022: 385,084) vehicles to customers worldwide.
Brand group increases deliveries of electric cars
In the first quarter, the brand group picked up the pace of implementing its e-roadmap, delivering 34,584 (Q1 2022: 24,236) electric cars, an increase of around 43 percent above the previous year’s figure. The share of electric vehicles delivered rose significantly from 6.2 to 8.2 percent.
Audi CEO Markus Duesmann: “We increased deliveries of all-electric models in the brand group by 43 percent. This shows how attractive our electric portfolio already is. And with the largest model offensive in Audi’s history, starting with the Q6 e-tron in the second half of the year, we are providing the right response to the accelerated trend toward electric mobility.”
Audi brand makes significant gains in Europe and the USA
In Europe, the Audi brand continued on its course for growth. In the first quarter, the brand with the four rings delivered 181,001 (Q1 2022: 153,408) vehicles to customers, 18.0 percent more than in the previous year. The brand’s home market of Germany contributed to this strong performance with an increase of 13.1 percent to around 61,000 Audi models delivered.
52,763 (Q1 2022: 35,505) vehicles were delivered in the USA – an increase of 48.6 percent compared with the first quarter of the previous year. This marks the third quarter in a row that Audi has increased its deliveries in the United States.
In China, the Audi brand delivered 136,416 vehicles in the first quarter (Q1 2022: 161,621). Following the coronavirus pandemic and the effects of Chinese New Year in January, Audi was able to increase deliveries in China by 19 percent in March, compared to the previous year. Nonetheless, this still amounts to a first-quarter decline of 15.6 percent compared to the previous year.
Strong sales growth
The good delivery figures also resulted in a strong boost in sales in the opening quarter. Revenue climbed 18.2 percent to €16,883/$18,540 (Q1 2022: €14,282) million, whereby the all-electric Audi Q4 e-tron and Audi e-tron GT quattro as well as the Audi Q5 and Audi Q7 were the main contributors to this increase. The share of EU taxonomy-aligned revenue rose again, reaching 14.5 (Q1 2022: 11.3) percent.
Independent ESG rating creates transparency
Demonstrating the high priority Audi places on ESG (environmental, social, and corporate governance) sustainability criteria, and to ensure greater visibility and transparency around this, the company has obtained an ESG rating from the independent rating agency ISS ESG1. This move allows Audi to determine its own position on the path to a more sustainable future. With a rating of C+, Audi is one of the highest rated automotive manufacturers but recognizes that further improvements can be made; the scale ranges from A+ to D-. “The initial rating is a solid result, but at the same time it is an incentive to take the next step,” says CFO Jürgen Rittersberger.
Audi views the current rating as step toward improvement and takes it as a starting point for implementing further measures along the entire value chain. “We have a holistic understanding of sustainability,” emphasizes Rittersberger. “We look beyond the product to focus on the entire value chain and the lifecycle of our vehicles. The ESG rating will help us identify and systematically exploit further room for improvement.”
Respecting human rights is one fundamental element of Audi’s sustainability strategy. Since the beginning of the year, Daniel Patnaik has been coordinating and monitoring compliance with human rights within the Audi Group and along the supply chain as Human Rights Officer. This new position is yet another expression of Audi’s corporate commitment to ESG criteria. Daniel Patnaik reports directly to the Board of Management. “At Audi, respect for human rights and environmental protection are top priorities,” emphasizes CEO Markus Duesmann. We recognize our economic, ecological, and social responsibility, including in our supply chain.”
Operating margin with target corridor
The Audi Group’s operating profit reached €1,816/$1,994 (Q1 2022: €3,468) million. The year-on-year decline is due in particular to negative effects from raw material hedges amounting to €1.6/$1.8 billion. While these efforts had a positive effect of €1.2/$1.3 billion in Q1 2022, they negatively affected the operating profit in Q1 2023 by €-0.4/$-0.4 billion. The price position, which remained good, and strong results from the brand group made a positive contribution to the operating profit. As a result, the Audi Group achieved a strong double-digit operating margin of 10.8 percent (Q1 2022: 24.3 percent), which is at the upper end of the strategic target corridor.
Under the umbrella of the brand group, Bentley, Lamborghini, and Ducati made a significant contribution to this year’s strong start.
Bentley delivered 3,517 (Q1 2022: 3,203) vehicles, almost 10 percent more than in the previous year. Bentley also increased sales to €882/$969 million (Q1 2022: €813 million), an increase of 8.5 percent. The operating profit climbed to €216/$237 million (Q1 2022: 170), while the operating margin grew by 3.5 percent to 24.4 percent (Q1 2022: 20.9).
Lamborghini stayed on track for a record, delivering 2,623 (Q1 2022: 2,539) cars, an increase of 3.3 percent. Sales increased significantly by 22.8 percent to €728/$799 million (Q1 2022: 592), while the operating profit rose by as much as 46.1 percent to a very strong €260/$286 million (Q1 2022: €178). The luxury brand was even able to exceed the previous year’s operating margin of 30 percent: 30.0) percent, achieving 35.7 (Q1: 30.0) percent in Q1 2023.
Ducati delivered 14,725 (Q1 2022: 13,492) motorcycles, an increase of 9.1 percent. A strong market environment and new model launches drove revenue to €323/$355 (Q1 2022: 230) million, up 40.3 percent. The operating profit jumped to €58/64 million (Q1 2022: €25), an increase of 134.2 percent. At 17.8 percent, the operating margin was 7.1 percentage points higher than in the same quarter the previous year (Q1 2022: 10.7 percent).
Financial result higher than previous year
The Audi Group’s financial result increased to €544/$597 million (Q1 2022: €430), partly due to higher interest rates. This includes the Audi Group’s business in China, which contributed €226/$248 million (Q1 2022: €295) to earnings. Earnings after taxes at the end of the first quarter amounted to €1,767/$1940 (2022: €2,939) million.
Net cash flow slightly higher than previous year
The Audi Group’s net cash flow rose by 4.4 percent to €1,710/$1878 (Q1 2022: €1,638) million, reflecting the company’s good operating performance. This was offset by an increase in investments, including ongoing investments in Audi FAW NEV Company Ltd. which is fully consolidated within the Audi Group, as well as activities related to the company’s entry into Formula 1.
“We saw a strong start to the year in the first quarter, proving once again that we have the economic strength to continue implementing our ambitious e-roadmap while systematically continuing on our path toward becoming a leading provider of connected, fully electric premium mobility,” says CFO Jürgen Rittersberger. “We will continue our systematic journey on this path in 2023.”
Forecast for 2023 confirmed
The Audi Group continues to expect deliveries of between 1.8 and 1.9 million cars and revenue between €69/$76 and €72/$79 billion for the fiscal year 2023. The operating margin is expected to remain unchanged between 9 and 11 percent; the Audi Group also expects its net cash flow to remain stable at €4.5/$4.9 to €5.5/$6.0 billion.