Bonus bonanza for Audi workers as company unveils €5bn profit

German staff will take home an average bonus of almost €7,000, carmaker announces


Every German Audi worker will take home an average bonus of almost €7000 after the German premium carmaker this morning announced a €5 billion operating profit for 2013.

The Audi Group, which includes Lamborghini, Ducati and the engineering and design house, ItalDesign Giugiaro, sold 1.575 million cars in 2013.

After launching 15 new models and earning €49.9 billion in revenues in 2013, the Volkswagen-owned Audi Group delivered a 10.1 percent operating return on sales for the year.

“2013 was an extraordinary year and we also remain on course for success in 2014,” the chairman of the board of Audi, Rupert Stadler, said.

“The past twelve months have seen us embark on a huge globalization drive in opening new plants in Hungary and China as well as preparing for local production operations in Mexico and Brazil.

“In China alone we delivered nearly 492,000 cars, over a fifth more than in the previous year and our lead in China is bigger than ever before.

“Overall we gained 8.3 percent more customers than in 2012, so in just four years we have gained more than 600,000 customers.”

By delivering 1.575,480 million cars, the brand hit its 1.5 million-car target two years early and is on track to move from 49 models to more than 60 by 2020, with €22 billion earmarked for research and development to achieve its targets.

“The lion’s share of our profit will be reinvesting in the further development of our products, including quattro drive and highly efficient and advanced engines, as well as alternative powertrains.”

Mr Stadler also believed Europe’s sales decline bottomed out in 2013, insisting it “reached its lowest point”.

“Since the pre-crisis year of 2007, the market has shrunk by a quarter, but Audi is the only one of the three large premium manufacturers that successfully defied the crisis - we grew in that time by five percent, quite contrary to the market trend.

“In 2013, Audi delivered a total of 732,000 automobiles in Europe. That means Europe is once again Audi’s strongest sales region. At the same time, Audi is the best selling premium brand in Europe.”

It had double digit growth in North America, with 160,000 cars sold in the US and more than 190,000 cars in North America as a whole.

Yet, while clearly healthy, Audi’s operating profit of €5.03 billion was down on its 2012 return of €5.4 billion and is 2011 figure of €5.3 billion.

“With the profit-sharing bonus, our Audi employees are receiving deserved recognition for their great commitment,” Thomas Sigi, Audi’s board member for human resources, said.

While the bonus has been slightly reduced compared to 2012 due to the smaller operating profit, the Chairman of the General Works council was satisfied with the result for Audi’s workers from its Ingolstadt and Neckarsulm operations.

“All of Audi’s employees have contributed towards the company’s success with their commitment, their motivation and their excellent work.

“We are more than satisfied with the profit-sharing bonus. This variable and profit-related component of income makes the company’s success into the personal success of all of our colleagues,” he said.

Oddly, private shareholders in Audi don’t receive any such compensation or a traditional dividend. The Volkswagen Group holds 99.55 percent of Audi’s shares, while the minority shareholders receive a compensation that relates to Volkswagen’s dividend. Audi’s share price on the Munich Stock Exchange fluctuated from €530 to €678, finishing 2013 at €643, up on the 2012 year-end price of €525.