WOLFSBURG: Europe's biggest automaker Volkswagen more than doubled first quarter profits to €740 million ($1bn; £502.6m) from €327m in the same period last year, thanks to restructuring and increased sales of its Audi and Skoda marques. Revenue climbed 5.1% to €26.6 billion.

The German-headquartered company, now led by former Audi chief Martin Winterkorn [WARC News: 08-Nov-06], announced record first-quarter sales of 1.47m vehicles, driven by a 16% increase at the Czech Skoda unit and a 9.4% growth at the Audi luxury brand.

Comments UK-based analyst Stephen Cheetham: "Volkswagen, along with Fiat, are the clear winners in the European industry right now. The car business is a brutal one and situations can change fast. Just a couple of years ago the French were winning in Europe, and the Germans were way behind."

Data sourced from International Herald-Tribune / Bloomberg News / Reuters; additional content by WARC staff