Wed, Nov 08, 2017 - Page 10 News List

BMW more confident on year, despite Q3 slowdown

AFP, FRANKFURT AM MAIN, Germany

German luxury car giant BMW AG fell short of expectations in the third quarter, earnings data released yesterday showed, but lifted its performance targets for the full year.

From July to September, net profit at the German group shrank 1.8 percent year-on-year to 1.8 billion euros (US$2.1 billion), well short of the 1.95 billion euros predicted by analysts.

Operating, or underlying, profit also fell 3.2 percent to 2.3 billion euros, on the back of revenue up 0.3 percent at 23.4 billion.

Meanwhile, unit sales of BMW, Mini and Rolls-Royce cars increased 1.2 percent to 590,415.

The group is “investing substantially in tomorrow’s mobility,” BMW CEO Harald Kruger said in a statement.

Like other German automakers, the Munich, Germany-based firm is scrambling to catch up with competitors in high-tech fields such as electric cars and autonomous driving.

The group expects to sell more than 100,000 hybrid or fully electric vehicles next year.

Meanwhile, Kruger highlighted spending of 400 million euros on expanding BMW’s research center to 5,000 employees and the opening of an autonomous driving center with partners including chipmaker Intel Corp.

Looking ahead to the full year, BMW upped its forecast to a “solid” increase in underlying profit from last year’s figure, where previously it had called for a “slight” boost.

However, the group will continue to spend heavily on research and new models in the fourth quarter, while it warned that a “politically volatile environment” worldwide could affect sales.

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