BERLIN, March 12 (Reuters) - Volkswagen has identified cost cuts worth about half of the planned 5 billion-euro ($5.29 billion) target at its core autos division, Chief Executive Martin Winterkorn said.
Steps including ceasing unprofitable models and reducing expensive vehicle equipment may improve results at the troubled passenger-car brand by "well over 1 billion" euros this year, Winterkorn said on Thursday at VW's annual press conference.
It's the first time VW has given numerical evidence of how its cost-cut programme, announced last July, is progressing.
Earnings at VW's largest division by unit sales and revenue plunged 14 percent last year to 2.48 billion euros, with the brand's operating profit margin dropping to 2.5 percent from 2.9 percent a year earlier, VW said.
It has a target of at least 6 percent. ($1 = 0.9445 euros) (Reporting by Andreas Cremer; Editing by Georgina Prodhan)