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BMW races to new sales and profit highs

Unfazed by rival VW's widening emission tests rigging scandal, German premium carmaker BMW has set new sales and profit records for the third quarter. The company said full-year targets would most likely be met.

German top-of-the-range auto maker BMW saw its bottom-line profit jump by 20.5 percent in the third quarter year-on-year to total 1.58 billion euros ($1.7 billion), with pre-tax earnings coming in at 2.26 billion euros, marking a 12.8-percent surge.

Revenues were up 14 percent in the period from July to September, while car sales also hit a new high, increasing by 6.9 percent to 545,062 units.

BMW executives were certain the company's full-year targets would be met.

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"BMW can look ahead confidently to the remainder of the current financial year and reaffirms its targets for the whole of 2015," the carmaker said in a statement.

The Munich-based firm thus appeared completely unfazed by Volkswagen's widening pollution scandal, with the carmaker now having a hard time defending itself against fresh accusations it had installed its test rigging software also in larger-engine VW, Porsche and Audi diesels.

BMW was more concerned about the economic slowdown in China and the precarious state of the sanctions-hit Russian economy.

The company also warned of "fierce competition on automobile markets, rising personnel costs and continued high levels of upfront expenditure to safeguard business viability."

hg/ng (dpa, Reuters, AFP)

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