Carmaker Škoda Auto reports record profit for 2015

The Czech Republic’s biggest carmaker Škoda Auto announced a record profit of around 19 billion crowns in 2015, a 6.5 increase from 2014. Overall sales over the same period increased by 6.2 percent from the previous year, to a total of 338 billion crowns, also a company record.

Photo: Archive of Škoda AutoPhoto: Archive of Škoda Auto Automobile manufacturer Škoda Auto supplied a record 1,055,500 cars to clients in 2015 and on Wednesday the firm released record profit figures which showed just how well the producer had done. The increase of 6.5 percent in profits came despite a drop in sales in Russia, an important market, by one third to 55,000 and the Volkswagen diesel emissions scandal. By contrast, sales in Central Europe, including the Czech Republic, increased by 15 percent to 172,100 cars, and in Western Europe rose by 4.3 percent to 430,900 supplied cars and sales. In China, the number rose by 0.1 percent to 281,700 cars sold.

The rise in overall sales in 2015 was 1.8 higher than in 2014, the company reported, and the firm retained its global market share of 1.4 percent. The rise in car sales, a better mix of sold model versions and optimisation of costs contributed to the growth in profit, Winfried Krause, the board member responsible for finances confirmed.

The company last year sold 40,200 Citigo cars, 6 percent fewer than in 2014. Roomster, whose sales are ending, saw a 44 percent drop to 16,600 cars. Interest in model Fabia grew by a fifth to 192,400 cars sold. The Rapid registered a 12 percent decrease to 194,300 cars. Yeti sales fell by 3 percent to 99,500 cars, and sales of the Octavia increased by 11 percent to 432,000 cars.

Some 80,000 clients picked the Superb, 12 percent fewer year-on-year. The drop likely reflects the launch of a new generation model in the middle of last year. Škoda Auto wants to grow further in 2016, in particular as a result of planned models in the category of small utility vehicles. It is to come up with a large seven-seat cross-country vehicle already this year.

But the manufacturer will probably not reach projected sales of 1.5 million cars annually by 2018, it had hoped for just a few years ago. The main reason is the drop in the markets in Russia, Ukraine and other countries in Eastern Europe. Škoda Auto is looking for new markets and considers, for example, sales in North Africa and Iran. Worldwide, Škoda Auto has 28,500 employees. The firm wants to hire an additional 2,000 people this year, mainly in connection with the extension of its plant in Kvasiny and the production of a new SUV, Bohdan Wojnar, the company’s board member responsible for human resources, said at Wednesday’s press conference.