Volkswagen cuts dividend following low profits due to coronavirus

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Volkswagen reported a second-quarter operating loss on Thursday as vehicle deliveries declined by nearly a third because of the coronavirus crisis, forcing the German automaker to slash its dividend despite a gradual rebound in demand.

The multi-brand car and truck maker predicted a major drop in full-year sales, even though it stated that it was observing a gradual recovery worldwide as coronavirus led lockdowns eased.

The company said its 2020 operating profit, before and including special items, would be significantly down on the year before, albeit in positive territory.

The company posted an adjusted operating loss of 1.7 billion euros ($2 billion) in the April to June period, dropping from a 5.1 billion euro adjusted operating profit in the year-earlier period.

Volkswagen slashed its dividend proposal for 2019 to 4.80 euros ($5.69) per ordinary share and 4.86 euros ($5.76) per preferred share from an earlier targeted 6.50 euros ($7.70) per ordinary share and 6.56 euros ($7.77) per preferred share.

The group is evaluating its corporate structure but presently there are no new plans to explore divestments or listings, according to Chief Financial Officer Frank Witter, who said that all 12 brands of the company, which include Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini, Porsche and Audi, are still important for the business.

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