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BMW sees 'significant' rise in '14 profit on record earnings, sales

FRANKFURT -- German top-of-the-range carmaker BMW said Wednesday it expects pre-tax profit to rise sharply this year after the group reported record sales and earnings last year.

“The BMW group can look forward with confidence to the current financial year,” chief executive Norbert Reithofer told the carmaker's annual earnings news conference.

Group profit before tax and sales volume are both expected to rise to new highs, he said.

“We are aiming to achieve a significant rise in sales volume in 2014, which would take us to a new all-time high of over two million vehicles,” the chief executive stated.

“We expect group profit before tax to rise significantly in the current year despite ongoing volatile business conditions,” Reithofer said.

However, the pace at which earnings increase would be affected by high levels of expenditure for new technologies and by rising personnel expenses, Reithofer cautioned.

As already reported last week, BMW achieved record earnings and sales for the fourth year in a row in 2013.

Net profit rose by 4.5 percent to 5.34 billion euros (US$7.4 billion) last year.

Pre-tax profit was up 1.4 percent at 7.913 billion euros.

Revenues slipped by 1.0 percent to 76.058 billion euros, but unit sales jumped by 6.4 percent to a record 1.964 million vehicles, with all three brands — BMW, Mini and Rolls-Royce — “registering all-time highs.”

BMW said it would increase its dividend payment to 2.60 euros on common shares and 2.62 euros on preference shares.

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