Page last updated at 12:46 GMT, Tuesday, 4 August 2009 13:46 UK

Recovery 'not in sight' says BMW

BMW car
BMW says trading is set to remain tough in the second half of the year

Carmaker BMW has said it sees few signs of a lasting economic recovery after it reported profits down by three-quarters for the April to June period.

Net profit was 121m euros ($174m; £103m), down 76% from a year ago, with car sales down by nearly a fifth.

Despite "some tentative positive signs, a lasting and wide ranging recovery is not yet in sight", BMW said.

Separately, figures showed that new car sales in Germany rose by 30% in July compared with a year earlier.

Earlier on Tuesday, the world's biggest carmaker, Toyota, reported a big quarterly loss after sales slumped.

Uncertainty

BMW said it had felt "the results of the global economic and financial crisis in the second quarter, resulting in a noticeable decrease in the number of cars and motorcycles sold."

The current business climate renders it impossible to made a reliable forecast regarding the further course of business in 2009
BMW

The group sold 338,190 BMW, Mini and Rolls Royce cars during the quarter, a fall of 18.1% on the number sold in the same period last year.

As a result, overall revenue fell by 10.9% to 13bn euros.

The company said that economic uncertainty made it impossible to make any forecasts for the rest of the year.

"The BMW Group assumes that the macroeconomic environment will remain unfavourable during the second half of 2009," it said.

"The current business climate renders it impossible to made a reliable forecast regarding the further course of business in 2009."

BMW has been cutting costs as sales fall. Last week, it announced it would quit racing in Formula 1 from the end of this season.

Mixed sales

Figures from the German VDA automobile federation showed that new car registrations totalled 340,000 vehicles in July.

Since the beginning of the year, German auto dealers have sold 2.4 million vehicles, a rise of 27% compared with the first seven months of 2008.

The increase is in large part due to a government scheme that offers drivers 2,500 euros if they trade in a car that is at least nine years old.

Figures released on Monday showed that sales in the US in July were more mixed, with some carmakers seeing big gains and others seeing big losses.

For example, Subaru saw sales jump by 34%, while Nissan saw sales plunge 25%.

Toyota's loss was due largely to a slump in sales.

The carmaker made a loss of 77.8bn yen ($818m; £483m) in the three months to the end of June. Revenue fell by 38%.



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