Audi boss Stadler: “We aim to achieve further growth in 2010”
· 2010: Eight new models
· Large-scale investments for the future
· 2009: Sales figures higher than expected despite the crisis
· 2009: Significantly positive results in all four quarters
Audi is making a lively start to 2010. The brand will launch eight new models in the course of the next twelve months. And Audi is also keeping its foot on the gas pedal in terms of investments. “Although the effects of the global economic crisis will still be noticeable in the next twelve months, we aim to achieve further growth in 2010,” says Rupert Stadler, Chairman of the Board of Management of AUDI AG. In this respect, Audi has a solid basis to work from: The company’s original objective for 2009 was to sell 900,000 cars, and in November it raised this target to 925,000. Moreover, the company achieved significant operating profits in all four quarters of 2009.
“Great uncertainty still predominated at the start of the year. Yet in a joint show of strength all Audi employees worked with dedication so that we could hold our ground more successfully than the competition could,” was Stadler’s summary of the year 2009. Besides the sales figures for the Audi Q5, the Audi A6 and the Audi A5 family, the outstanding achievements in our largest foreign market, China, also contributed to the positive results in unit sales. There Audi already overtook the sales results for the whole of 2008 (119,598 cars) in the last week of October.
Given the good unit sales figures, the financial result for 2009 has also remained positive. Contrary to the negative overall market trend, the Audi Group began the new year with a significantly positive operating result of EUR 363 million in the first quarter.
Audi thus achieved a cumulative operating profit of EUR 1,172 million over the first three quarters, corresponding to an operating return on sales of 5.4 percent – a top value for the industry in the crisis-hit year 2009. Profits for the 4th quarter even lay above that for the 3rd quarter (EUR 348 million). We therefore achieved our goal, set at the beginning of 2009, of a significantly positive result.
The celebrations of the brand’s 100th anniversary will also have a special place in our memory. On the gala evening of July 16, 1,800 invited guests experienced the commemorative speech by German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Ingolstadt, the unveiling of the new Audi A5 Sportback and the premiere of the Chinese star pianist Lang Lang on the Audi Design concert piano. During the following festival the Ingolstadt public was treated to musical entertainment by the band “Die Fantastischen Vier” and enthralled by historic racing cars on the world-famous Donauring. The celebrations were completed in the fall with the “60 Years of Audi in Ingolstadt” festival and, in Neckarsulm, with the centennial festivities in the town center and at the Audi site.
2009 was also a year of spectacular moments in sports. In late July, for example, the four top soccer teams A.C. Milan, Boca Juniors, FC Bayern Munich und Manchester United competed for the Audi Cup in Munich’s Allianz Arena. In the end, the Munich team was victorious in this tournament, carried out for the first time. And Audi set the course in motor sports as well, continuing its success story: Timo Scheider defended his DTM title, making Audi the first brand to win the title in three consecutive years in this series.
First place was also the object of the Audi Efficiency Challenge, A to B. Here the goal was to arrive at the finish line not the soonest, but with the least fuel consumption. In the nine-day efficiency trip from Å in the Norwegian Lofoten islands to Bée in Northern Italy the consumption data were proof of the superb efficiency of the entire Audi line of models. The overall winner was the Audi A3 1.6 TDI. With an average consumption of only 3.3 liters per 100 km, it remained well below its standard consumption of 3.8 liters.
Efficiency comes standard at Audi, as is proven by the “Green Car of the Year Award,” won by the Audi A3 TDI at the Los Angeles Motor Show. This title is only one of many in our anniversary year. First place in the ADAC brand study “AutoMarxX” (best car brand in Germany) and in the “Auto Trophy 2009,” plus Bild am Sonntag’s “Golden Steering Wheel” award for the Audi A5 Sportback, all underline the company’s successful journey. The fact that Audi is so well received not only by customers but also by the experts of tomorrow is attested by studies from the consulting firm Trendence and from Universum: Audi remains the most popular employer for engineering science students at German universities.
Finally, Audi ended the year with a bang: The new Audi A8 celebrated its world premiere in the extraordinary setting of Miami, a capital of art and design. The brand’s new flagship was unveiled at the vernissage “The Art of Progress” in the midst of selected art works in the Audi Pavilion specially erected for this purpose. The sporty luxury sedan was only one of many new products, however: Audi brought six additional models onto the market in 2009. And the brand also revealed its own vision of the future: At the 2009 Frankfurt International Motor Show the company presented its research prototype, the Audi e-tron, a strictly electrical high-performance sports car, scheduled to enter small-series production as early as 2012.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CordLife released cord blood to treat cerebral palsy,
a medical first in Singapore
- CordLife released a cord blood unit for the first time to treat a case of cerebral palsy in Singapore.
- Two-year-old patient, Georgia Conn received an infusion of her own cord blood stem cells.
- The safe and simple procedure has been performed on 97 patients at Duke University in the United States.
- After the infusion, Georgia has become more vocal and has a renewed enthusiasm for exercise.
Singapore, 2 December 2009 – CordLife, homegrown cord blood banking leader, announced the release of a cord blood unit for the first time to treat a case of cerebral palsy in Singapore.
In this breakthrough medical procedure, the patient, two-year-old Georgia Conn, was infused with her own cord blood stem cells in the hope to repair damaged brain tissue as a result of injury at birth, which currently has no cure. These stem cells were stored with CordLife by her parents in the eventuality that they might be needed in future.
Cord blood is the preferred source of stem cells for transplantation worldwide. So far, more than 14,000 patients suffering from over 80 diseases have been treated successfully with cord blood stem cells.
Mr Michael Conn, Georgia’s father, commented, “We are very grateful to Dr Keith Goh and CordLife for making this safe treatment possible in Singapore. Without them, we would have had to travel to the United States, which was fraught with potential problems for such a simple procedure. Our experience reaffirms our decision to bank Georgia’s cord blood and the choice of our cord blood bank. They delivered their quality promise when it mattered the most to us.”
“Since the infusion of Georgia’s cord blood, we noticed that she is more vocal and has a renewed enthusiasm for exercise. She is a lot happier and more comfortable at her regular physiotherapy and occupational therapy sessions. We are heartened with her progress and hope that many other sufferers in Singapore can soon benefit from this procedure.”
Commenting on this pioneering medical treatment, Mr Steven Fang, Group CEO of CordLife Limited said, “We feel very privileged to be a part of this pioneering treatment in Singapore. Our in-depth knowledge of cord blood banking practices and standards recognised by many gold standards such as the AABB, has helped ensure that we deliver high quality cord blood stem cells to support such a treatment.”
“Storing a baby’s cord blood is increasingly seen to be an essential health care need, especially with a recent study in “Biology Blood Marrow Transplant” showing that as many as 1 in 200 people may require stem cell transplantation in their lifetime. While the current use of cord blood is predominantly related to certain cancers and blood disorders, researchers around the world are unlocking the autologous (the patient’s own) use of cord blood stem cells for cellular therapy to help repair damaged or diseased tissue. We believe once these advances translate to successful therapies, more medical options may be available to families who have stored their children’s cord blood.”
This pioneering treatment has been initiated extensively in the United States and Europe via clinical trials to determine the mechanism of action. The most well-known case study involving 97 patients was conducted at Duke University in the United States by Dr Joanne Kurtzberg, professor of paediatrics and pathology, and expert transplant physician.
Dr Keith Goh, lead clinician and neurosurgeon said: “Stem cells, especially those derived from cord blood, have enormous potential for new growth and regeneration of damaged tissue. It is estimated that 1 in every 500 babies is affected by cerebral palsy. For these children and other patients with similar neurological insults, it is possible that stem cell treatment holds the key to improving their lives. Most importantly, since these treatments are autologous, they are safe and viable.”
Consequently, a clinical trial led by Dr Goh will be initiated to bring this exciting new application to Singapore.
CordLife operates Asia Pacific’s most experienced and largest network of stem cell banks with full processing and cryopreservation storage facilities in Singapore, Australia, Hong Kong, Indonesia and India as well as marketing operations in Macau, Philippines and Thailand. The Group’s in-depth knowledge of stem cell banking practices and standards are recognised by many international Quality Standard organizations such as the American Association of Blood Banks (AABB), Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) and International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO). In 2006, CordLife became the only stem cell bank in the world to be awarded the prestigious World Economic Forum ‘Technology Pioneer’. CordLife is listed on the Australian Securities Exchange, under the stock code; CBB. For more information on the CordLife group of companies, please visit http://www.cordlife.com.
For further information please contact:
|Feldani Effendydenis communications
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