WOLFSBURG, GERMANY, DPA – Volkswagen has posted record first-half operating profits of almost 11.4 billion euros ($A18.3 billion), shrugging off the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

Europe’s largest carmaker said on Thursday the result had been achieved “despite a continuing challenging environment” and following a loss of around 1.5 billion euros at the start of the year.

The first-half operating profits exceed the total for last year.

After taxes, profits came in at 8.4 billion euros, by contrast with a loss in the same period last year of more than 1 billion euros. Turnover rose by more than a third to more than 130 billion euros.

Chief executive Herbert Diess said sales of upmarket cars with margins above 10 per cent were going “particularly well.”

The company raised its yield targets for the year, predicting a return before interest and taxes of between 6.0 and 7.5 per cent on turnover, up from an earlier 5.5 to 7.0 per cent.

VW’s holding company Porsche SE also raised its predictions for the year, forecasting after-tax profits of between 3.4 billion and 4.9 billion euros, up from the earlier prediction of between 2.6 billion and 4.1 billion euros.