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VW’S 1ST QUARTER PROFIT ROSE 5.5 PERCENT IN 1990

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Volkswagen AG, West Germany's largest automaker, says its first quarter profit rose 5.5 percent over last year and that 1989 income grew by a record 33 percent.

Earnings for the first three months of 1990 totaled $191 million, compared with $181 million last year. Sales were up 7 percent to $10.3 billion worldwide.Volkswagen also disclosed its total net income for 1989 jumped by a record 33 percent to $609 million from $475 million in 1988. Sales for 1989 rose 10 percent to $39.6 billion $36 billion.

Chairman Karl Hahn, buoyed by record sales from last year, also announced Tuesday that Volkswagen was considering expanding in Eastern Europe, just as it plans to grow in East Germany.