BMW profits driven by strong demand

Image caption,
BMW has raised its sales forecasts for 2010

German carmaker BMW has reported a surge in profits, thanks to a recovery in global markets, demand from China and strong sales of new models.

The firm made 834m euros (£692.8m; $1.1bn) between April and June, up from 121m euros a year earlier. Sales climbed by 18.3% to 15.35bn euros.

The results impressed investors, pushing the firm's share price up by 3.1% in Tuesday trading.

BMW had already raised its 2010 sales and earnings forecasts last month.

Chief executive Norbert Reithofer confirmed the company aimed to boost full-year sales by about 10% to more than 1.4 million vehicles.

"We are aiming to achieve significantly higher group earnings in 2010 than in 2009," he said.

Asian growth

The number of BMW, Mini and Rolls-Royce cars sold rose by 12.5% in the quarter.

This included a 3.6% growth in Europe and a 5.6% rise in the US.

The most spectacular growth was seen in Asia, where quarterly sales were up by 59.4% at just under 70,000 cars.

More than 45,000 of these sales were in China and Taiwan - almost double the volume seen in the same period in 2009.

"Sharp sales volume growth on major markets and a high-value model mix are the main reasons for the strong second-quarter performance," Mr Reithofer said.

He added that improved economic conditions had allowed it to charge more for its cars, which had bolstered profits.

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