35 Capital management

The Group’s capital management ensures that its goals and strategies can be achieved in the interests of shareholders, employees and other stakeholders. In particular, management focuses on generating the minimum return on invested assets in the Automotive Division that is required by the capital markets, and on increasing the return on equity in the Financial Services Division. In the process, it aims overall to achieve the highest possible growth in the value of the Group and its divisions for the benefit of all the Company’s stakeholder groups.

In order to maximize the use of resources in the Automotive Division and to measure the success of this, we have for a number of years been using a value-based management system, with value contribution as an absolute performance measure and return on investment (ROI) as a relative indicator.

Value contribution is defined as the difference between operating profit after tax and the opportunity cost of invested capital. The opportunity cost of capital is calculated by multiplying the market cost of capital by average invested capital. Invested capital is calculated by taking the operating assets reported in the balance sheet (property, plant and equipment, intangible assets, lease assets, inventories and receivables) and deducting non-interest-bearing liabilities (trade payables and payments on account received). Average invested capital is derived from the balance at the beginning and the end of the reporting period. In spite of the charges relating to the special items recognized in the operating result, the Automotive Division disclosed a positive value contribution of €1,775 million in the reporting period which due to the improvement in the operating result before special items and the decrease in the cost of capital was higher than the prior-year figure.

The return on investment (ROI) is defined as the return on invested capital for a particular period based on the operating result after tax. If the return on investment exceeds the market cost of capital, there is an increase in the value of the invested capital and a positive value contribution. In the Group, a minimum required rate of return on invested capital of 9% is defined, which applies to both the business units and the individual products and product lines. Our goal of generating a sustained return on investment of over 15% is anchored in Strategy 2025. The return on investment therefore serves as a consistent target in operational and strategic management and is used to measure target attainment for the Automotive Division, the individual business units, and projects and products. The return on investment achieved for the Automotive Division in the reporting period was 8.2%. Due to the special items recognized in the operating result, this was lower than our minimum required rate of return of 9%, but higher than our current cost of capital of 6.2%.

Due to the specific features of the Financial Services Division, its management focuses on return on equity, a special target linked to invested capital. This measure is calculated as the ratio of earnings before tax to average equity. Average equity is calculated from the balance at the beginning and the end of the reporting period. In addition, the goals of the Financial Services Division are to meet the banking supervisory authorities’ regulatory capital requirements, to procure equity for the growth planned in the coming fiscal years and to support its external rating by ensuring capital adequacy. To ensure compliance with prudential requirements at all times, a planning procedure integrated into internal reporting has been put in place at Volkswagen Financial Services, allowing the required equity to be continuously determined on the basis of actual and expected business performance. In the reporting period, this again ensured that regulatory minimum capital requirements were always met both at Group level and at the level of subordinate companies’ individual, specific capital requirements.

The return on investment and value contribution in the Automotive Division as well as the return on equity and the equity ratio in the Financial Services Division are shown in the following table:

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€ million











Including proportionate inclusion of the Chinese joint ventures and allocation of consolidation adjustments between the Automotive and Financial Services Divisions; excluding effects on earnings and assets from purchase price allocation.


The value contribution corresponds to the Economic Value Added (EVA®). EVA® is a registered trademark of Stern Stewart & Co.

Automotive Division1










Operating result after tax





Invested capital (average)





Return on investment (RoI) in %





Cost of capital in %





Opportunity cost of invested capital





Value contribution2










Financial Services Division










Earnings before tax





Average equity





Return on equity before tax in %





Equity ratio in %