BMW sees new models powering record 2011 profits

BMW sees new models powering record 2011 profits

Munich: Germany’s BMW expects the launch of new models like the 1 Series compact should power further growth this year, when it plans to achieve new record earnings.

The Munich-based carmaker said on Tuesday group sales would rise to “well above" 1.5 million vehicles, with fresh all-time high volumes at the BMW, Rolls-Royce and Mini brands as it rolls out at least six new models this year.

“2009 was the year of the economic crisis. 2010 was our year of a new beginning," said chief executive Norbert Reithofer. “2011 will be our Year of Opportunities."

He expects group pretax profit to surpass last year’s record €4.84 billion ($6.75 billion), while its core automobiles segment should generate earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) equivalent to more than 8% of revenue in 2011.

For next year, BMW stopped short of promising an improvement after reaffirming its 8-10% EBIT margin target for automobiles.

“We are confident that we will be able to keep our returns within our target range beyond 2012," finance chief Friedrich Eichiner said.

BMW shares were down 4.8% at €53.12 at 0946 GMT, outperforming a 5.45% fall in the autos sector.