BMW profit more than doubles to 1.81 billion euros

2nd August 2011, Comments 0 comments

Strong global demand for luxury cars pushed earnings at German leader BMW sharply higher in the second quarter, it said Tuesday while forecasting a solid finish to the year.

BMW said its second quarter net profit more than doubled from the same period a year earlier to 1.81 billion euros ($2.58 billion) on sales that were 16.5 percent higher at almost 17.9 billion euros.

"We expect the business environment to remain favourable during the second half of 2011," the company said in a statement.

The group's operating profit soared 83 percent to 2.86 billion euros.

The results topped analyst forecasts compiled by Dow Jones Newswires for a net profit of 1.59 billion euros and an operating profit of 2.41 billion euros.

"We expect to achieve a significantly higher group profit before tax for the full year 2011 compared to 2010, assuming economic and political conditions remain stable and that the global economy continues to grow," BMW said.

In the second quarter, the BMW group, which also owns the Mini and Rolls-Royce brands, sold a record 450,608 vehicles, a year-on-year gain of 18.5 percent.

For the first six months of the year, sales jumped 19.7 percent to 833,366.

It issued a new full-year target last month of more than 1.6 million sales for 2011.

BMW dealers have been delivering more cars worldwide, but especially in Chine and the rest of Asia, now the industry's global growth engine.

German rivals Daimler, which owns Mercedes, and Volkswagen, which owns Audi, both published solid quarterly results last week as well and raised their annual forecasts.

BMW noted that "sales volume and earnings growth in the segment will, however, be held down during the second half of the year" by changes to some of its popular models and costs stemming from the launch of others.

© 2011 AFP

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