BMW chief executive Helmut Panke has told the Reuters news agency he expects the company to be very profitable in 2004 and forecast rising sales of its BMW, Mini and Rolls-Royce brand cars.

"We will continue to be very profitable and our margins will be very good in 2004," he reportedly said at the Detroit motor show.

He added he expected the west European car market as a whole to grow between 2.5 and 3.0% in 2004, Reuters said.