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Strong sales fail to stop BMW profits slide

BMW profits stalled last year even as it set a sales record and surpassed rival Mercedes as the biggest selling luxury carmaker in the world.

‘The BMW Group is currently the premium manufacturer with the highest sales volume in the world and is also ahead of almost all of its direct competitors in terms of profitability,’ chief executive Helmut Panke said.

The eight per cent fall in pre-tax profits, from €3.6bn to €3.3bn (£2.26bn) was explained by the change in the value of its stake in aero-engine manufacturer Rolls-Royce. BMW has since sold two-thirds of its stake. The pre-tax margin fell from 8.1% to 7% as revenues increased 5.2% to €46.7bn (£32bn). Net profit was stable at €2.42bn (£1.7bn).

Panke said a product offensive – which will see two new models launched – would carry on. Panke said BMW should beat this year’s sales record of 1.3m units for the group.

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