• Sales volume, earnings and revenues reach new records in 2017
  • Pre tax profit above EUR10bn for first time
  • Additional EUR1b allocated to R&D
  • EBIT margin on target
  • Record dividend
"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" - BMW chairman Harald Kruger

"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" - BMW chairman Harald Kruger

The BMW Group has reported record results for full year 2017 - sales volume, revenues and earnings.

"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 chairman Harald Kruger.

"Since 2016, we have taken numerous strategic decisions to further grow our business on a sustainable basis in the years ahead."

Automotive sales volume increased 4.1% year on year to 2,463,526 units.

Deliveries of electrified vehicles jumped 65.6% to 103,080 units, due mainly to the all electric i3. The group plans to increase electrified vehicle sales to at least 140,000 units in 2018 and to have sold 500,000 by the end of 2019.

Group revenue rose 4.8% to a record EUR98,678m last year, with currency effects slightly restraining growth.

Profit before financial result (EBIT) rose 5.3% to EUR9,880m.

Group profit before tax (EBT) rose 10.2% rise to top EUR10bn (EUR10,655m) for the first time.

All three operating segments – Automotive, Motorcycles and Financial Services – reported record pre-tax earnings.

Group pre tax return on sales (EBT margin) improved to 10.8% from 10.3%.

Income tax expense reduced to EUR1,949m from EUR2,755m due mainly to the reduction in the US federal corporate income tax rate from 35% to 21% on 1 January 2018 which was accounted for in measurement of deferred taxes at 31 December 2017. The revaluation gave rise to a positive impact of EUR977m on deferred taxes recognised through the income statement. Group net profit benefited accordingly and rose 26% to EUR8,706m.

Finance chief Nicolas Peter said: "Last year we allocated around EUR1bn more on research and development than in 2016 – and nevertheless increased our operating profit. This is what we mean by sustained profitability."

In 2017, the group raised research and development expenditure by 18.3% to EUR6,108m, the R&D expenditure ratio at group level rose to 6.2% from 5.5%.

"In 2018, we expect the ratio to reach its highest level to date, with expenditure again rising by a further high three digit milllion  euro amount year on year. We need to earn these additional outlays by working with the utmost efficiency on the performance side while also maintaining a keen focus on the expenses side," added Peter.

Automotive

Automotive segment revenues grew 2.5% to EUR88,581m, EBIT improved by 2.2% to EUR7,863m and EBIT margin was flat at 8.9% but within the target range of 8% to 10% or higher for the eighth financial year in a row since 2010. Segment profit before tax increased by 9.8% to set a new record of EUR8,691m.

In 2017, the Group again delivered over 2m BMW brand vehicles. Sales volume rose 4.2% to 2,088,283 units with X family volume up 9.6% thanks in part to the second half launch of the redesigned X3. Following the 5 series sedan redesign, December sales were up 55% up on the previous year sales volume for the year grew 6.3% to 291,856 units. Other models contributing to growth in 2017 included the 1 series (201,968 units; +14.7%) and the flagship 7 series (64,311 units; +4.5%).

Mini set a new sales volume record last year with 371,881 deliveries worldwide and 3.2% year on year growth. Sales of the new Dutch built Countryman jumped 30% to 84,441 units. Convertible volume grew 12% to 33,317 units.

Despite the end of the first generation Phantom and "volatility in key Middle East markets", Rolls-Royce delivered 3,362 units (-16.2%). The new Phantom was launched in July and first deliveries began at the beginning of 2018.

The group expects worldwide deliveries to rise in 2018 due to increasing availability of the new X3 and the launch of new products such as the Z4 and 8 series.

"This year we are targeting another new sales record, with deliveries slightly up on the previous year", Krüger said.

The group "expects the political and economic environment to remain volatile".

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