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Volkswagen's (VOWG_p.DE) luxury division Audi will miss its benchmark for profitability this year as costs for the diesel emissions scandal and possible recalls of cars fitted with Takata Corp (7312.T) airbags are weighing on results.

First-half operating profit at Audi plunged 18 percent to 2.4 billion euros (2.02 billion pounds) Cheap New Balance Slippers , including 265 million euros of special items which pushed down the brand's operating margin to 8 percent from 9.8 percent a year ago, Audi said on Friday.

Audi Cheap Adidas Adilette Slides , the main contributor to VW group profit, added 165 million euros of provisions in the second quarter for its emissions scandal and effects of potentially faulty Takata airbags Cheap Puma Creepers Velvet , raising the amount of funds set aside for both issues since last year to 563 million euros, a spokesman said.

The Ingolstadt-based carmaker Cheap Puma Fenty Bow Sneakers , which to date has been targeting a profit margin of between 8 and 10 percent, on Friday said it now expects "a level slightly below this corridor" Cheap Puma Fur Fenty Slides , without being more specific.

The relapse on profitability coincides with a strategic overhaul at Audi which plans to increase spending on electric cars, digital services and autonomous driving in coming years as part of VW's post-dieselgate shift of business priorities.

"To preserve our innovation and investment course Cheap Puma Fenty Bow Creeper , we will raise efficiency in all parts of the company," finance chief Axel Strotbek said.

VW on Thursday reported a 12 percent drop in quarterly profit at its troubled passenger-car division Cheap Puma Fenty Bow Slides , a big improvement on the quarter before but highlighting the challenges it still faces to overcome the emissions scandal.

But Audi, which slipped behind Daimler's (DAIGn.DE) Mercedes-Benz last year into third place among the top-selling luxury car brands , said it still counts on more than 20 all-new or redesigned models this year to beat 2015's record 1.8 million auto sales.

BELGRADE, March 3 (Xinhua) -- Visiting European Union (EU) foreign policy chief said the EU is committed to receiving new member countries and will work together with Serbia to maintain regional stability and create better business environment by stimulating regional cooperation.

Federica Mogherini, the EU's High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, made the statement at a press conference following her meeting with Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic.

Mogherini said she carried the same message to all countries on her ongoing regional tour -- that their integration was the key strategic priority of the EU and that regional stability and cooperation among Balkan countries was integral to their economic development.

"From our side, the commitment is full. I am sure this (EU integration) will bring benefits not only to all Serbian people, but also to all EU citizens," she stressed.

Mogherini, also a vice-president of the European Commission, said regional stability of the Balkans was the strategic interest of the EU, "not because of geopolitical games, but because peace in the Balkans is peace in Europe."

"We have faced, in recent times, and we might face in the times to come, that this has been called into question. The EU is determined to work with all actors, starting from Serbia and all the others in the Western Balkans to guarantee that peace in the region becomes an irreversible achievement for all of us," she said.

Mogherini said economic cooperation could help the region achieve peace, as it had done in the EU in the 60 years since its creation.

"Trading with each other, relating from an economic but also a connections point of view is much more convenient for your people than fighting each other and escalating your rhetoric," she said.

Meanwhile, Vucic said Serbia would firmly remain on its EU path, pointing out that 67 percent of its trade was with the EU while another 20 percent was with regional countries that were likewise on the EU path.

"EU is the most important destination for us, it seems to me, and I think that much can still be improved in our relations...I think that many things can also be done to improve the economic environment, first of all our judiciary where we need support and help from our European colleagues, and I would say that the biggest challenge for us is to jointly maintain the regional stability," Vucic said.

He added that instability in the region would harm Serbia's good economic results and asked for the EU's aid in maintaining peace, but also asked that a similar EU message extend to other Balkan countries as well.

"What bothers us, if I can be completely sincere, is the fact that often there are different standards towards Serbia and Serbs than the others," he said, referencing tensions with Bosnia and Herzegovina, Albania, and authorities in Pristina.

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