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Q4 loss of US$917m for BMW

BAYERISCHE Motor Werke AG, the world's biggest luxury car maker, said it had a fourth-quarter loss before interest and taxes after setting aside money for slower used-car sales and spending on job cuts.

The loss was 718 million euros (US$917 million) compared with earnings before interest and taxes of 1.31 billion euros, the Munich-based auto maker said in an e-mailed statement yesterday. Full-year net income dropped 89 percent to 330 million euros.

Volkswagen AG, Europe's biggest car maker, reported a 22-percent drop in fourth-quarter profit yesterday, Bloomberg News said.

Car sales in Europe plunged 27 percent to the lowest in two decades last month and contracted 37 percent to a 28-year low in the United States.

BMW took provisions throughout 2008 for bad debt and declining values of vehicles returned on lease.

The charge in the fourth quarter amounted to 931 million euros, almost half the 1.97 billion euros budgeted for the entire year.


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