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The BMW group plans to further improve profitability and set a new record for unit sales, chairman Norbert Reithofer told the annual general meeting in Munich.

“We aim to achieve an EBIT margin of over 8% in our automobiles segment. Sales volume is expected to rise to well over 1.5m units, a new all-time high, with [all three] brands all achieving new sales volume records,” he said.

In the 2012 financial year, the group aims to achieve an unchanged EBIT margin of eight to 10% in the automobiles segment and a return on equity of at least 18% in financial services.

“We believe there is also good chance of achieving our target corridor of 8% to 10% in the automobiles segment beyond the year 2012”, added Reithofer.

This target is based on the assumption that the global economy will continue to make stable progress. It is also possible, however, depending on political and economic developments that the actual EBIT margin will be higher or lower than the targeted range for the period after 2012, BMW said.

The company set new records for sales and group profit in 2010. Sales rose 19.3% EUR60.5bn (2009: EUR50.7bn). Profit before tax (EBIT) rose steeply to EUR4.8bn (2009: EUR413m). Net profit for the year was a record EUR3,234m (2009: EUR210m).

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“We are extremely pleased with developments over the past financial year. We have set new records for revenues and group earnings and have more than achieved our targets for the full year,” Reithofer said.

BMW, Mini and Rolls-Royce brand deliveries rose 13.6% to a record 1,461,166 units (2009: 1,286,310 units)..

Automobiles segment sales rose 23.8% to EUR54.1bn, EBIT improved to EUR4.4bn (2009: EUR265m loss), and profit before tax increased to EUR3.9bn (2009: loss of EUR588m).

EBIT margin was 8% compared with the forecast 7%.