FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) - Automaker Volkswagen AG says first-quarter profit rose 19 percent as cost-cutting improved profit margins at its namesake brand.

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) Automaker Volkswagen AG says first-quarter profit rose 19 percent as cost-cutting improved profit margins at its namesake brand.

Net profit rose to 2.932 billion euros ($3.225 billion) in the January-March quarter, up from 2.468 billion euros in the same quarter a year ago.

Volkswagen said Wednesday that its efforts to reduce costs had saved more than 100 million euros in the quarter alone at the Volkswagen brand, raising the profit margin to 2.0 percent from 1.8 percent.

Volkwagen is the world's No. 2 automaker by sales, but its Volkswagen brand had struggled to contain costs and improve profitability. Its other brands include luxury makes Audi and Porsche.

Group sales rose by 10.3 percent to 52.7 billion euros, benefiting from higher sales volumes, a better model mix, and exchange rate changes.