BMW raises target for 2021 after strong third quarter

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FILE PHOTO: The logo of German car manufacturer BMW is seen on the company headquarters in Munich, Germany, December 5, 2019. REUTERS/Andreas Gebert/File Photo GLOBAL BUSINESS WEEK AHEAD
FILE PHOTO: The logo of German car manufacturer BMW is seen on the company headquarters in Munich, Germany, December 5, 2019. REUTERS/Andreas Gebert/File Photo GLOBAL BUSINESS WEEK AHEAD

Upmarket German carmaker BMW posted sharply increased profits in the third quarter – despite continuing problems with sourcing computer chips – on the back of higher sales prices, in results released in Munich on Wednesday.

Profits for the quarter rose by 42 per cent to 2.58 billion euros (2.99 billion dollars), a new record.

The semiconductor shortage throughout the automotive sector has led to a shortage of vehicles for sale and higher prices as a result.

“We are on target for our annual prediction and look to the future with confidence,” chief financial officer Nicolas Peter said.

The BMW group sold just 593,200 vehicles in the July-to-September quarter, down 12 per cent on the same quarter last year, as production was hit by the semiconductor shortages.

But the group focused on its more expensive and higher margin vehicles, and was able to offer lower discounts to customers. In addition, leasing vehicles returned to the company for resale were worth more.

Group turnover rose by 4.5 per cent to 27.47 billion euros, contrary to analysts’ expectations. Pre-tax profits came in 39 per cent up at 3.4 billion euros, while, after tax, the figure was 2.6 billion euros.

“We are expecting that the supply of semiconductors will continue to affect us beyond 2021,” Peter said, but he predicted sales for the year as a whole to be “solidly above the level of last year.” Profits would be “significantly” higher, he added.

During the first nine months, BMW has posted records for sales, turnover and profit, with 1.932 million cars sold, turnover of 82.8 billion euros and pre-tax profits of 13.2 billion euros.

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