Copyright Reuters 2016

(Copyright Reuters 2016)

VW raises FY revenue guidance after third-quarter sales increase

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Volkswagen has raised its guidance for group revenue this year and is targeting slightly higher profitability after posting higher autos sales in the third quarter.

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Europe's largest automaker on Thursday said it expected group revenue to match last year's 213 billion euros ($232 billion) after predicting in July that revenue would fall by as much as 5 percent this year.

Year-to-date sales of the VW brand swung back to growth on a 6.7 percent gain in September and on a group level posted the biggest increase in two and a half years last month, helped by strong demand in China and Europe.

Volkswagen (VW) also said the group operating margin may come in at the upper end of a 5-6 percent target range before special items. It previously forecast the profitability benchmark would fall within that corridor.

Global sales may slightly exceed last year's 9.93 million deliveries thanks to strong growth in China, it said, keeping to its previous guidance.

(Reporting by Andreas Cremer; Editing by Maria Sheahan)