By Kim Richters and Ed Frankl 
 

Shares in Volkswagen AG traded lower on Thursday despite higher first-quarter earnings after the auto maker warned of uncertainties related to Russia's war in Ukraine and possible supply-chain bottlenecks.

The German company, whose portfolio includes the Porsche and Audi brands, cautioned on the war's continuing effects on exchange rates and commodity markets, and said the impact couldn't be predicted with certainty.

"There is therefore still a risk that further developments in the Ukraine war will have a negative impact on the Volkswagen Group's business activities," it said.

The company warned that supply bottlenecks could arise from the war as well as from the coronavirus pandemic. Over the past two years, Volkswagen has repeatedly seen its production disrupted due to factors including a shortage of semiconductors amid the pandemic and, more recently, bottlenecks in the supply of wiring harnesses due to the war in Ukraine.

At 1014 GMT, Volkswagen preference shares were trading 2.2% lower at EUR148.18.

For the first-quarter, the car maker expects an operating profit before special items of around 8.5 billion euros ($9.26 billion), with an operating return on sales of around 13.5%, based on preliminary data. Volkswagen said its operating performance in the three-month period was robust and earnings were also boosted by positive valuation effects related to commodity-hedging instruments.

Net cash flow in the automotive division was around EUR1.5 billion for the quarter.

In the first quarter of 2021, when there were no special items, Volkswagen posted EUR4.81 billion in operating profit and an operating return on sales of 7.7%.

Volkswagen's adjusted operating profit for the first three months of this year appears to be in line with expectations, while the free cashflow looks to be below estimates, RBC Capital Markets said.

Volkswagen plans to post full results on May 4.

 

Write to Kim Richters at kim.richters@wsj.com and Ed Frankl at edward.frankl@dowjones.com

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 14, 2022 06:30 ET (10:30 GMT)

Copyright (c) 2022 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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