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Wednesday, 6 November, 2002, 09:04 GMT
Strong sales lift BMW profits
BMW Z4
BMW is launching several new models
The German car maker BMW's pre-tax profits rose 1.5% on the back of a 19% rise in sales during the three months to September.

The profits were weaker than analysts had expected and the sales stronger than they had thought.

"The research and development costs have burdened the pretax profit margin more than expected," said Stefan Greifeneder of Bayerische Landesbank.

Nevertheless, BMW has been going from strength to strength since achieving record profits in 2001 of 2.720bn euros (1,741bn; $2,721bn).

"The BMW Group will surpass the record levels of revenues and earnings achieved in the previous year," the company said.

It added that sales this year "will outperform both the overall market and the premium segments of the market".

New models

BMW is set to launch several new models next year, including a new Rolls-Royce built in its new factory in the UK, as well as a new small car and a medium sized sports utility vehicle.

These are expected to fuel sales, but they have been costly to develop.

This was borne out by research and development costs, which rose 14% to 471m euros during the July to September quarter.

"It indicates that burdens on margin will continue and that fourth-quarter sales and earnings would be lower than third quarter," said Mr Greifeneder.

BMW shares fell 0.74% in early trading.

BMW's pre-tax profit rose 1.5% to 689m euros during the third quarter while sales rose 19% to 9.971bn euros.

See also:

30 Sep 02 | Business
27 Sep 02 | Business
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