Volkswagen saw net profit fall 19 percent in the first quarter as it struggled to deal with a scandal over cars equipped to cheat in diesel emissions tests.

The company also faced plummeting sales in Russia and Brazil due to troubled economies there.

Profits for the first three months of the year fell to 2.37 billion euros ($2.63 billion) from 2.93 billion euros a year earlier. Revenue fell 3.4 percent due to lower unit sales and to exchange rate effects.

Volkswagen faces heavy costs for recalls and fixes to cars with engine-control software that evaded emissions tests.

CEO Matthias Mueller said in a statement Tuesday that the company "managed to limit the economic effects of the diesel issue and achieve respectable results under difficult conditions."