VW Delays Release of Results, Shareholders’ Meeting

BERLIN (Dpa/TNS) -

Troubled German car maker Volkswagen said Friday it had postponed the release of its 2015 annual results and delayed its shareholders’ meeting as it battles to come to grips with an emissions testing scandal.

The financial results had been due to be released on March 14 with Europe’s biggest carmaker’s annual general meeting following on April 21.

The delays are “due to remaining open questions and the resulting valuation calculations relating to the diesel emissions issue,” VW said.

VW did not provide new dates for the results and the general meeting, which will be the first time that shareholders are able to question and hear from executives about their progress in facing up to what is the biggest crisis in its 78-year corporate history.

The company did say Friday that 2015 earnings before interest and tax, commonly called EBIT — measuring the performance of the group’s core business operations — would come in the same as the previous year’s level, which stood at $14.1 billion (12.7 billion euros).

However, the figure did not take into account special items such as the amount that the company will have to set aside to cover the cost of the emissions affair, which involves about 11 million vehicles around the world.

Based in the northern German city of Wolfsburg, the carmaker has already said it plans to set aside 6.7 billion euros to cover the cost of the scandal, which broke in September when VW said it had cheated on emissions tests.

The luxury sports carmaker Porsche, which is part of VW’s stable of 12 auto brands, also announced on Friday that it had decided to delay both its financial results and AGM, which had been set down for March 15 and May 4 respectively.

After initially falling after the VW announcement, the company’s shares rebounded by 1.49 per cent to 102.50 euros on the Frankfurt Stock Market.