BMW shares closed higher Thursday, after the German car maker published its latest earning results and 2018 outlook. Group earnings were upbeat as demand for its high margin SUV vehicles helped balance an increase in research investment.
BMW shares ended the European Thursday trading session were 0.13% higher at €84.97, after a volatile afternoon of trading.
SUV sales surge
As with other car makers during 2017, BMW noted that demand for its SUV range of vehicles was strong last year and helped the company deliver profit growth of 5.3% as its full-year earnings before tax and interest (EBIT), hit €9.88 billion.
“We can look back on the most successful year in our corporate history and have achieved record levels for revenues and earnings for the eighth year in succession,” said BMW chairman, Harald Krüger. “Since 2016, we have taken numerous strategic decisions to further grow our business on a sustainable basis in the years ahead.”
Some 2.09 million BMW branded cars were sold in 2017. Total sales for the group, meanwhile, which includes the Rolls-Royce and Mini brands, was up 4.1% to 2.46 million vehicles.
The company plans to propose a dividend of €4 per share. That’s despite an increase of 18.3% in research and development spending, as it continues to invest in electric vehicle tech.
BMW also delivered 103,080 electric and hybrid in 2017, a 65.6% gain from the previous year.
“Last year we allocated around one billion euros more on research and development than in 2016 – and nevertheless increased our operating profit. This is what we mean by sustained profitability,” said BMW CFO, Nicolas Peter.
Upbeat outlook for BMW
As the German car maker reports its positive performance for 2017, it’s also upbeat on what 2018 should hold for the company.
BMW said it anticipates worldwide sales of its vehicles to rise again in 2018. Improved availability of the BMW X3 along with new model launches, including the BMW 8 series and the BMW Z4, it expects sales to rise despite a likely volatile political backdrop.
“This year we are targeting another new sales record, with deliveries slightly up on the previous year”, Krüger said.