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Business

BMW on course for record 2012 earnings

Despite a slightly lower net profit than in the second quarter a year ago, German carmaker BMW recorded record sales in the months April through June. The result raises hopes for bumper earnings this year.

BMW's second quarter net profit slumped 28 percent, down to 1.28 billion euros ($1.57 billion) from 1.77 billion euros, the world's biggest luxury automaker announced Wednesday.

However, revenue rose 7.3 percent to 19.2 billion euros on the back of strong demand in pivotal markets in Asia and the United States.

BMW said the fall in net profit was partly a result of 464 million euros in one-time contributions to second quarter earnings in the previous year, but added that higher personnel and development costs, as well as intense market competition also weighed on profits.

The automaker reported record sales of 475,000 vehicles. Growth was primarily generated in China, up 31 percent in the second quarter, and in the US, where sales were up 10 percent. In crisis-hit Europe, sales remained flat at minus 0.1 percent.

BMW Group, which includes the compact Mini and top-of-the-range Rolls-Royce brands alongside core BMW models, maintained its 2012 aim of "exceeding the previous year's sales volume and pre-tax earnings."

However, the luxury carmaker added that its forecast could only be reached if the global economy would not "deteriorate further" on the back of mounting risks emanating from the eurozone debt crisis and a slowdown of growth in China.

uhe/ccp (AP, dpa, AFP)