VW delays 2015 results, AGM as scandal effects unclear

Fri Feb 5, 2016 10:33am EST
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By Andreas Cremer

BERLIN (Reuters) - Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE: Quote) has postponed publication of its financial results for 2015 and delayed its annual shareholders' meeting as the German carmaker struggles to put an exact price on its diesel emissions scandal.

More than four months after the scandal broke in the United States, Europe's leading carmaker is still to come up with a technical fix for almost 600,000 diesel cars and is facing a growing number of legal claims.

Uncertainty about the financial impact of VW's biggest-ever corporate scandal on its accounts has increased since the start of the year.

U.S. regulators last month rejected VW's original plan to fix 2.0 liter diesel cars equipped with software capable of violating emissions rules, raising concerns that VW may have to carry out a larger number of costly vehicle buybacks in the world's second-biggest auto market.

In Europe, VW is facing demands from the European Commission and lawmakers to consider compensating VW drivers in a way comparable with a scheme in the U.S. where the carmaker has promised goodwill packages worth $1,000 each to tens of thousands of owners of VW vehicles.

Leading figures on VW's supervisory board have been meeting more frequently lately to discuss the crisis, including how to account for the scandal in VW's annual results which were originally due to be released on March 10, sources said.

VW said on Friday it would set new dates for the 2015 results and its annual shareholders' meeting, initially planned for April 21, citing "remaining open questions and the resulting valuation calculations relating to the diesel emissions issue".

VW shares traded 4 percent higher at 10.15 a.m. ET and analysts said the delay was a sensible step.   Continued...

The gold wheel treatment of a 2016 Volkswagen Dune convertible is seen at the Washington Auto Show in Washington January 29, 2016.  REUTERS/Gary Cameron