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BMW drives profits sharply higher in Q1

BERLIN (AFP/APP): German luxury carmaker BMW said Friday that earnings rose sharply in the first three months of the current year, driven by a rebound in sales as the market recovers from the coronavirus pandemic.

BMW said in a statement that its bottom-line net profit quadrupled to 2.8 billion euros ($3.4 billion) in the period from January to March, from 574 million euros a year earlier.

First-quarter revenues were up 15 percent at 26.8 billion euros as unit sales grew by 33 percent to 636,606, the carmaker said.

“Compared to the previous year’s pandemic-affected first-quarter performance, key financial figures developed positively in the first three months of the financial year 2021,” the statement said.

“The significant recovery of the markets, which began in mid-2020, continued to gain momentum during the first three months of the year.” BMW said that the “greatly improved level of revenues and earnings was driven by a combination of higher sales volume figures across all regions of the world, particularly in China, and improved selling prices.”

Looking ahead, the carmaker cautioned that the coronavirus pandemic “will continue to influence the course of business for the BMW group throughout the current financial year — both directly and indirectly.”

Vaccination measures being taken worldwide should, however, have a positive effect on the situation and increasingly reduce the adverse impact of the pandemic on global economic growth, it said.

“Nevertheless, negative consequences for the BMW group cannot be ruled out in the further course of the year,” the statement said.

Furthermore, rising raw materials prices could weigh on earnings.
“In light of the current dynamic environment, the BMW group reaffirms its outlook for the full year, expecting business performance continuing to develop positively,” it said.
Pre-tax profit was expected “to rise significantly during the outlook period,” BMW said.