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BMW announces record profits

BMW has announced record earnings for 2004, due to the launch of a number of new models.

In 2004, BMW enjoyed a 14.1% rise in bottom-line earnings to €2.22bn (£1.55bn) and operating profit was also up by 10.9% to €3.55bn (£2.48bn).

The Mini and Rolls-Royce brands saw a 6.8% rise in sales to €44.335bn (£31bn) last year and unit sales were up 9.4% at 1.208 million in 2004.

Sales growth was driven primarily by the launch of three new models, the 6-Series, the sports utility vehicle X3 and the compact 1-Series cars, the company said.

"We are reaping the benefits of the up-front expenditure previously incurred to launch new products and to expand the international sales organisation," says chairman Helmut Panke.

BMW did not provide any new forecasts for the current year, but has previously said it is hoping for 6 to 9% of growth for 2005.

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