UPDATE 1-VW's Audi keeps margin target despite Q3 profit drop

lunes 2 de noviembre de 2015 06:23 GYT

* Q3 margin slips to 8 pct, behind Mercedes, vs. 9.2 pct year-ago

* Audi expects to beat 2014 record 1.74 mln car sales

* VW emissions scandal could impact future business -Audi (Adds peer comparison, earnings detail and background)

BERLIN, Nov 2 (Reuters) - Audi is sticking to profitability targets, though its quarterly operating margin fell behind that of German rival Mercedes-Benz as declining sales in China as well as costs of new models and plants weighed on results.

Volkswagen's flagship luxury division said on Monday it still expects a return on sales of 8-10 percent this year after the benchmark slid to the bottom end of the range between July and September from 9.2 percent a year ago.

Separately, Audi said it "could experience changes affecting the organisational and economic business process" as a result of the emissions scandal at parent VW, which reported results last Wednesday.

An Audi spokesman said orders and sales were stable, declining to elaborate.

Mercedes-Benz, which eclipsed Audi in global sales in the first nine months, reported a 10.5 percent third-quarter margin for its luxury-cars division, helped by new model launches and surging Chinese sales, up from 8.5 percent a year earlier.

Luxury-car sales champion BMW will publish results on Tuesday.   Continuación...