WOLFSBURG, Germany: Volkswagen, the German automaker, posted a net profit of €243 million ($316m; £186m) in Q1 2009, a 74% decline on the year-ago period, as gains in China and Russia were offset by slowing sales elsewhere.

The company registered an overall slide in sales of 16% during the first three months of this year, to some 1.35 million vehicles, and has reduced its planned production by some 25% as a result.

Deliveries rose in Russia, China and Germany, but fell by 19.3% in the US on an annual basis, and VW would have recorded an overall loss in the first quarter but for the sale of its commercial operations in Brazil to MAN AG for some €600m.

Martin Winterkorn, the auto manufacturer's ceo, said it was "not immune to the dramatic deterioration in the global business environment," but still aimed to "outperform the market as a whole and to gain additional market share."

Peugeot-Citroen, Europe's second largest carmaker after Volkswagen, also posted a decline in revenue of 25% to €11bn in Q1, and predicted that total auto sales in the region would fall by 20% this year.

Data sourced from Associated Press; additional content by WARC staff