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MNCHEN (dpa-AFX) – The car manufacturer BMW made more profit in the past quarter than a year ago despite the Corona crisis. The surplus climbed by a good 17 percent to 1.82 billion euros, as the Dax group announced on Wednesday in Munich. Above all, the good run in China brought BMW the noticeable increase in profit through the investment result. But in the rest of the auto business too, things went a little better than expected.
BMW had already announced that the burdens from the spring had partly reversed in the development of the cash position in the third quarter. In addition, the company tightened its austerity course and spent less on investments. “We control day-to-day business closely based on regional developments in demand and can react to changing framework conditions at any time,” said BMW boss Oliver Zipse.
In terms of operating earnings before interest and taxes, which do not include China profits for accounting reasons, the Weiblauen performed as expected, with a decline of almost 16 percent to 1.92 billion euros. In the second quarter, BMW had made a significant operational loss here. Total sales fell by 1.4 percent to 26.3 billion euros. However, the stock was 3.5 percent in the red in early trading after a strong run in the past few days. JPMorgan analyst Jose Asumendi said the numbers were very strong. He expects that BMW could hold out the prospect of the upper end of the confirmed margin forecast in the auto division for the year as a whole, but remains cautious because of new restrictions in the Corona crisis.
In the third quarter, the group sold 676,000 cars, almost 9 percent more than in the previous year. In China, demand was even a third higher. In Germany, the purchase premiums for electric and hybrid cars fueled demand. In the USA, on the other hand, it was still significantly lower than a year ago.
The important core division with automobile construction recorded an operating margin (EBIT) of 6.7 percent between July and the end of September, 0.1 percentage points more than a year earlier. Analysts, however, had expected a decline. BMW confirmed the forecast again as it did a few weeks ago and continues to aim for a value between 0 and 3 percent for the year as a whole. After nine months, BMW is only marginally up at 0.3 percent.
“Today we benefit, for example, from the strategic focus on the upper luxury segment that we met in 2016,” said Chief Financial Officer Nicolas Peter. At that time, ex-boss Harald Krger still focused on particularly expensive cars.
“In the overall view of 2020, the BMW Group continues to assume that demand in all major markets will be significantly impaired due to the spread of the coronavirus and the necessary containment measures,” it said. The pre-tax group result is still expected to be significantly – that is, by more than 10 percent – below the previous year’s figure of 7.1 billion euros.
The good development in China contributed to the profit increase through the participation in the local joint venture, according to BMW. The group only adds the Chinese profit to the financial result, which makes it difficult to compare it with, for example, its rival Mercedes-Benz from the Daimler group.
The rest of the auto industry also showed clear signs of recovery from the far-reaching production and sales freeze in the third quarter. Daimler had also been able to increase profits thanks to an equally good run in China, and Volkswagen, as the world’s largest car manufacturer and market leader in China, also got on better again. However, with the recent increase in the number of infections in America and Europe, the future outlook is uncertain. The uncertain planning also weighs on the companies in the sector ./men/ngu/jha/