German automaker Volkswagen AG may delay its earnings announcement and annual general meeting (AGM) by four to six weeks as the company determines the extent of damage from its diesel emissions scandal, according to media reports Sunday. The world’s second-largest carmaker by sales announced Friday that it had postponed the two major events, keenly awaited by shareholders, but it did not suggest a time frame.
Volkswagen’s annual results for 2015, set to be released on March 10, may be reportedly published in April and its AGM, originally scheduled for April 21, may be held in early June.
Eric Felber, a spokesman for Volkswagen, however, said that no dates for the announcement and meeting have been set, Bloomberg reported. The new timeframe was originally reported by German newspaper Bild am Sonntag.
On Friday, Volkswagen reiterated that it expects the operating results to be at the level of the previous year, within the range of its earlier forecasts. But, the company admitted that it is still assessing the financial fallout from the cost of repairing about 11 million cars worldwide and possible compensations and fines for installing a cheating devices in many of its diesel cars.
Volkswagen said in Friday's statement that it plans to publish the results of an investigation into the origins of the scandal in the second half of April, adding the findings would clarify "the background and responsibilities" related to it.
The emissions scandal has already prompted the company to set aside 6.7 billion euros ($7.5 billion) in 2015 to cover the cost of the recall. Volkswagen Chief Executive Officer Matthias Müller reportedly acknowledged at a factory tour last year that the amount would only cover the recall and that he had no numbers yet "about any further provisions."
In an October note, industry analyst Credit Suisse said that the scandal could end up costing Volkswagen 78 billion euros ($87 billion) in a worst-case scenario, much more than the $35 billion spent by BP for the Deepwater Horizon spill in April 2010. Credit Suisse’s most conservative estimate of the cost to Volkswagen is 23 billion euros ($25.6 billion).
Apart from its financial challenges, the company is at loggerheads with U.S. and European authorities who are yet to approve any of the fixes suggested by the carmaker. Last week, the company named a new head of its U.S. legal department to help resolve issues over how the recall should be conducted.