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BMW net profit rises despite Europe
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(AP:FRANKFURT, Germany) German luxury car maker BMW AG said Thursday it overcame tough auto markets in Europe to post a 9 percent increase in net profit in the second quarter.
Profits rose to 1.39 billion euros ($1.85 billion) from 1.28 billion in the same quarter a year ago as revenue rose 1.8 percent to 19.5 billion euros. The company's profit performance beat the consensus of analysts' expectations of 1.29 billion euros as compiled by financial information provider FactSet.
The Munich-based company also said it had profit margins of 9.6 percent, toward the upper end of its goal of 8-10 percent. Even so, the margin was down on last year's 11.6 percent.
"Despite serious headwinds in many auto markets in Europe, the BMW Group had a strong second quarter," CEO Norbert Reithofer said in a statement.
BMW has seen stronger sales in the first half of the year from its mainstay 3-series car and from its X1 small SUV.
The company's earnings repeated the pattern of the past few quarters: Strong sales in the recovering U.S. economy and emerging markets such as China outweighed lower demand in its biggest market, Europe. First-half sales by number of vehicles were flat in Europe but rose 15 percent China and 9 percent in the United States.
European auto sales have been undermined by a near 4-year crisis over too much debt that has led governments to cut spending and raise taxes, deepening recessions and worsening unemployment. Europe-wide sales, according to the European auto makers' association, ACEA, fell 6.6 percent for the first six months of the year.
BMW shares traded down 0.33 percent at 73.01 euros shortly after the stock market opened in Germany.
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