[FRANKFURT] German luxury carmaker BMW AG said its third-quarter operating profit rose 17 per cent, ahead of forecasts.
Quarterly earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) came in at US$2.82 billion, BMW said on Tuesday, well ahead of the 2 billion euros(S$3.2 billion) forecast in a Reuters poll.
Auto sales rose 6.9 per cent in the quarter, lifting BMW's automotive EBIT margin to 9.4 per cent, higher than the 8.6 per cent achieved by rival Mercedes-Benz Cars or the 9.2 per cent seen at Audi.
Between January and September, sales of new sportscars improved in all regions, including Europe, Asia and the United States.
Sales of new models like the X5 sports utility vehicle helped BMW keep sales incentives down, keeping BMW's auto EBIT margin at the upper end the company's target of between 8 and 10 per cent.