Berlin — Volkswagen (VW) lifted its profit target for the year on Friday after cost cuts at its core vehicles division helped it outstrip third-quarter earnings forecasts. The world’s largest car maker is spending billions of euros to reposition itself two years after a diesel emissions scandal, focusing on electrification of its mass-market and luxury brands while developing what it calls "digital mobility services" for those who do not want to own a vehicle. "Earnings in the first nine months make us quite optimistic about the year as a whole," VW finance chief Frank Witter said. "This is a strong foundation we can build on." Quarterly group earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) before special items jumped 15% to ¤4.31bn ($5.01bn) from ¤3.75bn a year ago, VW said on Friday. This beat even the highest estimate of ¤4.17bn in a Reuters poll of banks and brokerages. VW shares rose 1.9% to an eight-month high at ¤148.20 by 7.56am GMT, making them the biggest risers on the STOXX Eur...

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