Car Sales volume remains on record course Despite the increasingly uncertain market environment, the BMW Group again managed to sell more cars during the reporting period than ever before. The number of BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce brand cars sold worldwide during the three-month period from July to September rose by 9.0 % to 434,963 units and during the nine-month period from January to September by 8.3 % to 1,335,502 units. This high-powered performance was driven in particular by sales of the new BMW 3 Series Sedan, the BMW 6 Series and the BMW X family as a whole. Within the MINI brand, the Countryman performed especially well.
Third-quarter sales volume for the Motorcycles segment (BMW and Husqvarna) totalled 28,876 units, similar to that achieved in the same quarter one year earlier (2011: 28,862 units). During the nine-month period from January to September we sold a total of 93,300 motorcycles (+ 0.4 %).
The Financial Services segment also had a successful third quarter, continuing the strong performance it has enjoyed in recent months. The number of new financing and lease contracts signed during the first nine months of the year rose by 10.9 % to 979,322 contracts. At 30 September 2012 the segment was managing a portfolio of 3,745,760 lease and credit financing contracts with retail customers and dealers worldwide, 5.4 % up on the previous year.
Revenues and earnings at best levels ever The BMW Group recorded various best-to-date figures, both for the third quarter and for the nine-month periods. Group revenues in the third quarter rose by 13.7 % to € 18,817 million (2011: € 16,547 million) and by 11.6 % to € 56,312 million for the nine-month period (2011: € 50,472 million).
The Group also achieved record profit before financial result (EBIT) figures for both periods, despite increased investment in new technologies, greater competition and higher personnel costs. Third-quarter EBIT rose by 13.8 % to reach € 2,004 million (2011: € 1,761 million). EBIT for the nine-month period amounted to € 6,406 million (2011: € 6,358 million; + 0.8 %).
Profit before tax for the period from July to September climbed by 17.6 % to € 1,987 million (2011: € 1,689 million), also the best performance ever recorded by the BMW Group for a third quarter. For the first nine months of the year, profit before tax came in at a similarly high level to the previous year at € 6,040 million (2011: € 6,044 million; - 0.1 %). The Group reports net profit of € 1,289 million (2011: € 1,111 million; + 16.0 %) for the third quarter and € 3,915 million (2011: € 4,028 million; -2.8 %) for the nine-month period.
BMW Group's outlook for the remainder of 2012 There have been no significant changes to the forecasts and other comments with respect to future developments for the financial year 2012 compared with the forecasts and comments made in the most recent Group Management Report.
The sovereign debt crisis in Europe will continue in the foreseeable future to have a significant impact on the pace of global economic growth. A significant risk factor is seen in the increasing reluctance of consumers to spend, particularly in countries most directly affected by the debt crisis. Despite these less-than-favourable conditions, the BMW Group's attractive range of premium vehicles and services has enabled it to strengthen its competitive position in the market. Thanks to its solid financial basis, the BMW Group, is able to pursue a long-term growth strategy whilst still remaining highly profitable.
Taking the excellent performance in the year to date, the BMW Group is confident that it will also be able to achieve its stated targets over the remainder of 2012. Assuming that economic conditions do not deteriorate significantly, we aim to achieve new all-time highs for sales volume and profit before tax for the full year 2012. Risks could arise, however, from a further deterioration of the economic situation in Europe and a slowdown in growth in China.
Automotive segment The pace of growth in the Automotive segment will remain at a high level during the remainder of the year. For this reason, we continue to forecast single-digit sales volume growth and hence a new sales volume record for the full year. Revenues and earnings are also expected to continue to develop positively in 2012. A four-wheel xDrive version and a Touring model were added to the new BMW 3 Series in summer 2012, thus ensuring that this highly successful range of models will continue to generate impetus to sales volume performance.
Investments in the production network and the development of new technologies will result in higher expenditure in the financial year 2012.
Despite the challenges posed by macro-economic developments, we reaffirm our target of achieving an EBIT margin of between 8 % and 10 % in the Automotive segment. Depending on political and economic developments, however, actual margins could end up being above or below the targeted range. We also continue to strive to achieve a return on capital employed (RoCE) in excess of 26 % for the current year 2012. Returns on this scale also remain the target of the Automotive segment beyond 2012.
Motorcycles segment We expect the market launch of the BMW Scooter to provide a boost to sales volumes during the remaining period of 2012, which should, in turn, be reflected in both revenues and earnings figures.
Financial Services segment As long as there is no deterioration in the overall risk situation, the Financial Services segment will again be able to report positively on business in the final quarter of the year on the back of moderate, but profitable growth.
Bad debt rates in the BMW Group's credit business should remain stable for the remainder of the year. The rigorous risk management procedures we have put in place play a crucial role in limiting potential risks in this area. We expect used car residual values to fall slightly in the last part of the year. Depending on economic developments, a more pronounced drop in southern Europe cannot be ruled out.
Assuming that business conditions remain unchanged, we forecast the segment's portfolio of contracts will be larger than at the end of the previous financial year. We also expect to achieve a RoE in the Financial Services segment of at least 18 %.