BMW beats expectations with first-quarter earnings

BMW reported ‘sales growth in all significant regions of the world, in particular in China’ between January and March, according to an ad-hoc statement. ― Reuters pic
BMW reported ‘sales growth in all significant regions of the world, in particular in China’ between January and March, according to an ad-hoc statement. ― Reuters pic

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FRANKFURT, April 20 ― German luxury carmaker BMW yesterday posted preliminary pre-tax earnings of €3.76 billion (RM18.7 billion) for the first quarter, well ahead of expectations, as the industry recovers from its coronavirus shock.

The company reported “sales growth in all significant regions of the world, in particular in China” between January and March, according to an ad-hoc statement.

Analysts surveyed by Bloomberg had expected earnings before tax (EBT) to come in far lower, at €1.8 billion ($2.2 billion), while Factset gave an estimate of €2.5 billion.

Over the same period last year, BMW's earnings before tax had plunged to €798 million, when the first coronavirus wave forced showrooms to close and slashed global car sales.

But BMW said last month that a recovery had begun in the second half of 2020 and continued to gain momentum, as countries eased pandemic restrictions and demand rebounded sharply in key market China.

The Munich-based firm said in March that it now expected a “significant increase” in profit before tax this year, and planned to speed up its transition to electric vehicles as the global economy recovers from the health crisis.

After a 13-per cent increase in the electric market in 2020, BMW now predicts growth will climb to “more than 50 per cent” over the next five years, followed by 20 per cent annual gains through to 2030.

By 2030, half of its car sales will be electric-powered models, it said.

BMW is to release its full first-quarter results on May 7. ― AFP

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