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Monday, 28 January, 2002, 10:23 GMT
BMW promises a record profit for 2001
German luxury carmaker BMW has said it will post a record operating profit for 2001 in its car division after strong sales.

BMW announced a 7.1% rise in 2001 sales to 37.85bn euros ($32.74bn, 23.26bn) and forecast further growth for the luxury car sector this year.

In a letter to shareholders, the company said the past year was "by far the most successful year in the BMW Group's history".

The luxury carmaker is weathering the recession in the US and Germany, which has hit the large volume car producers much harder.

Ford and GM are both implementing deep restructuring plans while Porsche, a rival in the luxury market, has itself reported record profits for 2001.

BMW confirmed that vehicle sales rose 10.2% in 2001 to 905,653 units. The company expects unit sales to rise by a third in the next six years.

BMW shares gained 1.84% to 39.20 euros in early trading compared with a 1.49% rise in the Eurostoxx auto index.

The shares have recovered 77% since setting a year-low of 21.65 euros on 21 September, in the wake of the terrorist attacks on the US.

BMW is due to be publish full results in March.

See also:

18 Jan 02 | Business
Porsche weathers world motor slump
04 Jan 02 | Business
BMW harmonises euro prices
07 Nov 01 | Business
BMW sales accelerate
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