BMW defies crisis and reports record operating profit

Germany’s BMW  defies a weak European car market and posts its second-best quarterly operating profit ever, highlighting the growing divide between prospering export-oriented premium auto makers and their ailing mass market peers. Earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) fell 19 percent from its record level last year to 2.27 billion euros ($2.80 billion) in the second quarter, but still exceeded a consensus forecast of 2.19 billion euros in a Reuters poll.

BMW 6 series Gran Coupe

“We still aim to exceed our previous year’s sales volume and pretax earnings in 2012,” said Chief Executive Norbert Reithofer in a statement on Wednesday. The world’s largest premium carmaker kept the EBIT margin at its core autos business stable from the first quarter, at 11.6 percent, weathering what it called “intense market competition” – which usually refers to rising incentive levels.

BMW is expected to have benefited from the euro’s weakening against other currencies, being the German luxury carmaker with the biggest exposure to exchange rate fluctuations.

Peer Daimler’s Mercedes-Benz cars business had a 317 million euro gain related to foreign exchange effects in the first half – boosting its quarterly margin by 1.6 percentage points – and Volkswagen’s Audi saw its first-half results lifted by 300-400 million euros

adapted from Reuters