BMW group revenues for the first quarter 2004, at €10,805 million, were 4.9% higher than the Q1 2003: €10,297 million). Profit rose by 2.5% to €851 million (Q1 2003: €830 million) while net profit rose 2.5% to €523 million. Earnings per share was €0.78 (+2.6%).

Chairman Helmut Panke said: "The BMW group is increasingly seeing the benefit of the product and market initiative this year. The positive resonance received by the new models and the first signs of a revival in the automobile sector reinforce the group in its aim to achieve sales volume growth for all brands and also to generate its best result to date."

Following a slow start in January due to production line modifications, car sales volumes increased sharply as the first quarter progressed, reaching historical new record levels for BMW and Mini in March.

The new X3, 5 and 6 series "have all gone down well in the market" and are said to be providing "significant" growth.

The group increased its sales volume by 3.2% in the first three months of 2004, delivering 269,973 cars (Q1 2003: 261,573).