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BMW predicts record revenue and earnings this year

BMW’s chief executive has predicted the company will enjoy record revenue and earnings this year on back of new model launches such as the 6-series coupe and convertible, the X3 compact SUV and the 1-series compact, due in September.

After vehicle sales of its BMW, Rolls-Royce and Mini brands rose 8.5% in the first six months of 2004, eclipsing rival DaimlerChrysler's Mercedes Car Group, Helmut Panke told Reuters: "We expect to see a rise in group car sales in the high-single digit percentage by the end of the year compared with last year".

The company aims to achieve "new records in sales for all three brands, as well as in group revenues and earnings," he reportedly said.

Panke also expressed his confidence that second-quarter results, due on August 4, would mirror BMW's strong car sales figures, the report said. "We're confident and convinced that the financial figures will correspond to the development of sales volumes."

According to the news agency, Panke said the company was considering launching a new sports car that would fill the gap left after BMW stopped making its high-end Z8 sports car and compete with rivals such as the Porsche 911.

"It's certainly an attractive segment and we're considering bringing out on the market a more sporty model within the upper segment," he told Reuters, adding though that it would not necessarily be a second-generation Z8.

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