Costs keep lid on BMW earnings

Marion Dakers
BMW yesterday posted a fall in quarterly revenues and profits as a solid rise in car sales was offset by staffing expenses and development costs.

The German group said revenues fell 4.1 per cent to €17.5bn (£14.7bn) in the first three months of the year, while net profit slid three per cent to €1.3bn.

The number of cars sold rose five per cent to 448,000, but some brands sold more than others and the automotive unit posted a 15.9 per cent drop in earnings before interest and tax.

The firm shipped 642 Rolls-Royce models in the period, 16.6 per cent lower than a year ago, and sales of Minis fell three per cent to 66,000.

Sales of BMW-branded vehicles rose seven per cent to 381,000.

BMW’s financial services business, which sets up leases and loans for cars, posted a 3.5 per cent rise in pre-tax profits to €449m.

UK sales jumped 17.4 per cent to almost 46,000 vehicles, offset by falling demand across the European car market.

“We do not expect to receive a great deal of impetus from most European markets over the next few months and economic conditions in these areas are likely to remain challenging,” said chairman Norbert Reithofer.

The firm repeated its target to increase worldwide sales this year, beating the record it set in 2012, and equalling last year’s pre-tax profits.