Asia sales more than double BMW net profits

German car giant BMW said today that its net profit more than doubled to 1.81 billion euro (£1.58 billion) in the second quarter thanks to booming sales in Asia.

The net profit figure compares with 834 million euro (£730 million) a year ago. Revenues in the quarter rose 16.5% to 17.9 billion euro (£15.7 billion)/

Sales rose 43% in Asia, with the Chinese market leading the increase. US sales also rose strongly, by 18%.

The company's net profit figure beat estimates by stock market analysts, while the revenue figure fell just short.

BMW credited a high-value model mix, with its 5-series sedan and X-3 sport utility showing large sales volume increases.

Sales in China rose 52%, even as the Chinese market increased by 20%, cooling its previous red-hot growth somewhat due to the end of state-sponsored stimulus measures.

BMW sold 63,300 cars in China during the quarter, compared with 80,300 at home in Germany.

Like others, the company was cautious about the economy for the rest of the year. It said it is unlikely that growth would be as dynamic as in 2010, given the prospect of higher interest rates around the world and debt troubles in many countries.

It also cautioned that sales and earnings increases in the second half would be held down by model changes and spending on the launch and production start-up of new models.

BMW maintained its outlook that pre-tax profits should be significantly higher this year than last, though it noted that its prediction was based on continued growth in the world economy.