BMW speeds ahead to another record year in 2014

[FRANKFURT] BMW, the German top-of-the-range car maker, said on Thursday it achieved its fifth record year in succession in 2014 on the back of buoyant demand for its vehicles.

"We continued to perform well during the past year, achieving new highs for sales volume, revenues and group earnings," boasted chief executive Norbert Reithofer.

"Tailwinds caused by high customer demand for our vehicles worldwide are driving up sales volumes," he said.

BMW said it sold a total 2.118 million vehicles worldwide in 2014, 7.9 per cent more than in the previous year.

Group revenues rose 5.7 per cent to 80.4 billion euros (US$85 billion).

Underlying or operating profit grew by 14.3 per cent to 9.118 billion euros, "thanks primarily to sales volume growth and a high-value model mix," BMW said.

Net profit was up 9.2 per cent at 5.817 billion euros, "also a new record high for the BMW group." BMW said it wanted shareholders to participate in the rise in profits and would propose an increased dividend of 2.90 euros per common share and 2.92 euros per preferred share for 2014, up from 2.60 euros and 2.62 euros respectively earlier.

Looking ahead, the car maker said it targets further sales growth this year.

"In view of our attractive model range and the market launch of 15 new models or model revisions over the course of 2015, the BMW group forecasts an increase in sales volume worldwide," it said.

"We are targeting ... a new record level for deliveries," said Mr Reithofer.


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