BMW races to record earnings, sees significant boost in 2014 | Business| Economy and finance news from a German perspective | DW | 19.03.2014
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BMW races to record earnings, sees significant boost in 2014

Last year, carmaking group BMW logged record sales and profits in all of its three brands. The Germany-based firm seeks to manifest its luxury car leadership position with sales of more than 2 million vehicles in 2014.

Net profit of BMW Group rose by 4.5 percent to 5.34 billion euros ($7.4 billion) last year, as total revenues slipped slightly to 76 billion euros, the German luxury carmaker announced in its 2013 earnings report released March 19.

Unit sales jumped 6.4 percent to a record 1.964 million vehicles, with all three company brands - BMW, Mini and Rolls Royce - registering all-time highs, the Munich-based company said.

Noting that BMW had achieved a new sales record for the fourth consecutive year, Chief Executive Norbert Reithofer told a news conference that the weakness of European markets had been compensated with higher growth in the United States and China, accounting for a share of 20 and 19 percent respectively in 2013.

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Stressing BMW's principle that production must follow the market, Reithofer said that the company was currently evaluating the possibility of expanding capacity at its Spartanburg plant in the US. Moreover, production in China was planned to be revved up to 400,000 cars in the medium term, while a joint venture with Chinese carmaker Brilliance was beginning engine production in 2016. In Brazil, a new factory would go online this fall, tapping into the Latin American growth markets, Reithofer added.

Therefore, BMW was looking forward with confidence to the current fiscal year, in which the group's unit sales were expected to surpass the 2-million mark for the first time in company history.

"We also expect group profit before tax to rise significantly in the current year despite ongoing volatile business conditions," Reithofer added.

As a result of its 2013 earnings, BMW announced a higher dividend of 2.60 euros on common shares and 2.62 euros on preference shares.

uhe/mz (AP, dpa)

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