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BMW marks centennial with record results

As BMW celebrates its 100th anniversary, the German luxury carmaker has announced a renewed increase in both profit and sales. The shining 2015 results prompted the company to increase its dividend payout.

Munich-based BMW announced Wednesday that 2015 marked its sixth consecutive year of record sales and profit.

The carmaker reported a 10-percent increase in bottom-line earnings to 6.4 billion euros ($7.0 billion). Sales were up 6.1 percent at an unmatched 2.23 million units last year despite a slowdown in the world's biggest auto market, China.

The group shifted 5.2 percent more of its flagship BMW brand, while sales of its urban brand Mini increased by 12 percent year-on-year. The carmaker's top-of-the range Rolls-Royce brand recorded the second-best performance in its history, moving 3,785 units worldwide.

Watch video 01:45

BMW celebrates 100th anniversary

Higher dividend not high enough?

"We're again targeting a new sales volume record in 2016," CEO Harald Krüger said in a statement.

BMW rewarded its shareholders by recommending a record dividend of 3.20 euros per ordinary share, up from 2.90 euros for 2014.

Leading its rival Daimler-Benz in units sold, and with auto giant Volkswagen struggling to overcome its emissions cheating scandal, BMW remains in

pole position at the high end of the auto industry.

But despite the carmaker's positive outlook, BMW shares were the biggest losers on the German blue-chip DAX index, shedding more than 2 percent in afternoon trading as investors had penciled in an even higher dividend payout.

hg/cjc (dpa, AFP)

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