BMW Group posted a 3.5% increase in the 2012 profit as the demand for the new 3-series sedan in China and the U.S. had been so high that it made up for the decline in the European market. In a statement, BMW Group revealed that earnings before interest and taxes increased to 8.3 billion euros ($10.7 billion) from 8.02 billion euros the previous year.
It also revealed that sales rose by 12% to 76.8 billion euros. BMW Group, which produces vehicles with the brands BMW, Mini and Rolls-Royce, is relying on the increasing demand in China and the U.S. to guard itself from the ill effects on the auto market in Europe of the continent’s problems concerning sovereign debt. In fact, last year was the auto industry’s lowest in 17 years.
Furthermore, BMW is hoping to secure its top sales rank in the luxury car segment as it faces off against Audi and Mercedes-Benz, which are both working to steal the No. 1 spot by the end of the decade. In the statement, CEO Norbert Reithofer said that the company is aiming for more sales volume growth throughout the globe this year. It also aims to achieve a record for deliveries.
He said that in multiple markets, the financial situation is expected to “remain challenging.” BMW Group has proposed that last year, it had a record dividend of 2.50 euros per common share compared with 2.30 euros the prior year.
Peter Schwarzenbauer, formerly the sales head of Audi, was hired by BMW in order to get one step further to the top in the premium segment. Schwarzenbauer will be the board member responsible for Mini, Rolls-Royce, BMW motorcycles and group aftersales beginning April 1. BMW widened the gap against its rivals last year with a 12% boost in sales to 1.54 million BMW-brand vehicles, driven by the demand for the new 3 series, 1 series and X1 and X3 SUVs.