BMW profits rise on sales of 7-Series, SUVs

FRANKFURT – Net profit for the second quarter at German luxury carmaker BMW rose 11 per cent to 1.949 billion euros ($2.182 billion), the company said Tuesday, thanks to strong sales of its large 7-Series sedan and X-Series sport-utility vehicles.

The results improved on the year-earlier figure of 1.749 billion euros. Profits beat estimates of 1.687 billion euros compiled by financial information provider FactSet.

The key profit margin figure came in at 9.5 per cent, an improvement on last year’s 8.4 per cent and in the upper end of the company’s target range of 8-10 per cent. Those are strong figures for the car industry, and reflect BMW’s concentration in the higher-priced part of the market, where profits per vehicle tend to be higher than for mass-market cars.

Chief financial officer Friedrich Eichiner said Tuesday that the company had achieved its margin target now for 25 straight quarters, which “shows that we do not only focus on short-term results.” The company said strong profits are the key to investing in new technologies such as automated driving and electric vehicles.

Sales of the 7-Series jumped 32 per cent in the first six months of the year; the small X1 SUV saw a 62-per cent increase.

The company sold 507,814 BMW-branded vehicles in the second quarter, an increase of 5.7 per cent.

The company also makes MINI and Rolls-Royce cars.