MUNICH/WOLFSBURG (dpa-AFX) - Higher sales prices have given VW's commercial vehicle subsidiary Traton a tailwind at the start of the year. Despite a four percent drop in sales to 81,100 vehicles, sales and operating profit increased, the company announced on Friday. Revenue from January to the end of March increased by five percent year-on-year to just under 11.8 billion euros, while operating profit adjusted for special effects rose by almost a fifth to just over 1.1 billion euros. The Group, which is listed in the second-line index SDax, thus performed better than analysts had expected. The share price got off to a friendly start in the morning.

The company with the MAN, Scania, Navistar and Volkswagen Truck & Bus brands pointed to an advantageous product and market mix as well as improved price enforcement. Nevertheless, order intake fell by three percent to 66,400 vehicles in the first quarter. "Demand in the European truck business has recently continued to normalize," said Traton CEO Christian Levin according to the press release.

The annual targets were confirmed. The Traton management is aiming for a range of minus 5 to plus 10 percent in sales and turnover compared to the previous year. The Management Board expects the operating profit margin adjusted for special effects to be between 8.0 and 9.0 percent. In the first quarter, this margin was 9.4 percent./mis/ngu