VW proposes 35% dividend increase as 2019 profit surges 22%

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FILE PHOTO: LA Auto Show in Los Angeles

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Volkswagen Group <VOWG_p.DE> said its full-year operating profit rose 22% to 16.9 billion euros (14.1 billion pounds) thanks to strong sales of higher-margin cars and lower diesel charges and forecast vehicle deliveries to stay in line with 2019 levels.

The multi-brand car and truck making group said it will propose a dividend hike to 6.50 euros per ordinary share, up from 4.80 euros in the year-earlier period.

The Wolfsburg-based company said market share rose in almost all regions, resulting in the rise in operating profit to 16.9 billion euros, which was up from 13.9 billion euros in 2018.

In terms of the operating profit for the Group and the Passenger Cars Business Area, VW forecast an operating return on sales in the range of 6.5% to 7.5% in 2020, but said this depended on the development of geopolitical tensions and conflicts as well as epidemics including the coronavirus.

(Reporting by Edward Taylor; Editing by Michelle Martin)