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November 4, 2009

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BMW stuck in reverse

GERMAN car maker BMW AG said yesterday its net income fell 74 percent in the third quarter as it continued to be affected by the global economic downturn.

BMW, the world's biggest luxury car company by sales, said net income for the period amounted to 78 million euros (US$115 million), down from 298 million euros in the July-September period of 2008.

BMW's share price slid 7.1 percent to 31.20 euros in Frankfurt after the earnings announcement as net income came in well below the consensus estimate of about 150 million euros.

The Munich-based company said it delivered 7.2 percent fewer cars during the July-September period and that its revenue fell 6.6 percent to 11.8 billion euros from 12.6 billion euros in the July-September period of 2008.

"Although there are some emerging signs that the lowest point of the current economic downturn has been passed, the BMW group only expects the situation to stabilize at a low level during the last quarter of 2009," BMW said.

"For the time being at least, it cannot be assumed that an enduring recovery has taken hold. Nevertheless the BMW group has performed well despite the difficult business environment."

BMW said total car sales would likely be 10 to 15 percent lower than in 2008 provided there were no further economic setbacks.

It expected to report a positive result for the financial year 2009 and to maintain the leading position in its sector.


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