BMW profits boom on global recovery and Chinese demand

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The Independent Online

BMW's profits boomed by nearly six times to €834m (£692m) in the second quarter, lifted by global economic recovery and rising Chinese demand for the world's best-selling luxury cars.

The German group's shares shot up by 3.1 per cent yesterday, following the publication of financial results for the three months to the end of June, which showed sales up by 18.3 per cent to €15.4bn.

Chief executive Norbert Reithofer confirmed BMW's target of 10 per cent growth this year, which would take the group to 1.4 million sales worldwide and bring it back in line with sales levels before the global financial crisis hit demand. Mr Reithofer said: "We have made good progress towards achieving our profitability targets for the year 2012. But we have no intention of resting on our laurels.

"We are determined to remain on track to make the company sustainably fit for the future," he said. "We are aiming to achieve significantly higher group earnings in 2010 than in 2009."

In total, BMW sold more than 380,000 vehicles in the quarter, a 12.5 per cent rise on the same period of the previous year, with a strong boost from the new BMW 5 Series models. Alongside respectable growth in its core European and US markets – at 3.6 per cent and 5.6 per cent respectively – sales rocketed by nearly 60 per cent in Asia. The biggest growth areas were China and Taiwan, which between them accounted for more than 45,000 of the extra 70,000 vehicles sold in the region.

BMW's car business – which includes the BMW, Mini and Rolls-Royce marques – recorded pre-tax earnings of €1.3bn, compared with a €31m loss last year. And the company's motorcycle business saw sales shoot up by 22 per cent to more than 36,000 units, taking pre-tax profits up from €26m to €54m.

Across the first six months of the year, the car giant sold 72,000 more BMWs, 7,800 more Minis and 641 more Rolls-Royces than in the first six months of 2009.

With a total of 970 Rolls-Royces sold, the period was the most successful since the brand was taken over by BMW in 2003.

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