VW's Skoda to invest 2.5 bln euros in new technologies over next five years

PRAGUE, March 24 (Reuters) - Czech carmaker Skoda Auto, part of the Volkswagen Group, said on Wednesday it would invest around 2.5 billion euros over the next five years on future technologies, with more than half going to electric vehicle investment.

The Czech Republic’s largest exporter reported on Wednesday a 756 million euro operating profit in 2020, a year-on-year drop of 54.5% as the coronavirus pandemic cut into deliveries.

Sales revenue dropped 13.8% to 17.1 billion euros. Global deliveries remained above 1 million cars for a seventh straight year despite a 19% drop after production outages at the outset of the pandemic and a fall in China, its biggest single market.

Skoda said it expected a rebound in performance in 2021.

In reporting 2020 results, the Czech carmaker, seen as a bellwether for the export-oriented economy, said it planned investments of 1.4 billion euros into electromobility development as part of its five-year investment plan.

Investments will also go into digitalisation activities and plant modernisation. (Reporting by Jason Hovet; Editing by Edmund Blair)