BMW says profits beat expectations in first quarter


German luxury carmaker BMW on Thursday reported first-quarter pre-tax profits that were sharply higher than expected, largely thanks to one-off financial effects.

Profits before tax increased by 27 percent to 3.0 billion euros ($3.2 billion) in the period from January to March, compared with the same period a year earlier, the Munich-based group said in a statement.

BMW enjoyed a windfall gain of 183 million euros from its stake in high-tech mapmaker Here — in which historic competitors Daimler and Audi also hold shares — after new investors climbed aboard.

The carmaker’s first-quarter revenues increased by 12.4 percent to hit some 23.45 billion euros, it said in preliminary figures.

Shares in the carmaker fell in early afternoon trading in Frankfurt, losing some 0.81 percent to trade at 83.30 euros ($89.60) by 1000 GMT.

Investors were disappointed by BMW’s shrinking operating margin — a key indicator of profitability — which sank to 9.0 percent by the end of March, compared with 9.4 percent a year ago.

The Bavarian powerhouse reiterated its forecasts for 2017 for a “slight increase” in pre-tax profit and an operating margin of between 8.0 and 10 percent.

It will publish full results for the first quarter on May 4.

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