BMW Group released its 2003 financial results today, showing a slight drop on 2002’s record performance. Group profit from ordinary activities, at euro 3,205 million, was only just below the record level of 2002 (-2.8% / 2002: euro 3,297 million).

The net profit for 2003 was euro 1,947 million (-3.6% / 2002: euro 2,020 million). Earnings per share were euro 2.89 (2002: euro 3.00) per share of common stock and euro 2.91 (2002: euro 3.02) per share of preferred stock.
“During a phase of continued high expenditure for the product and market offensive and despite the fact that economic conditions prevailing on some of the world’s automobile markets were difficult, the BMW Group met all of its targets”, stated Dr. Helmut Panke, Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG. “We will continue this positive development in the current financial year by increasing sales volumes and earnings.”

BMW said that in addition to the continued high level of expenditure on new product, its 2003 results were also affected by the announcement of changes to the statutory provisions for early retirement part-time working arrangements, which resulted in an expense of euro 110 million to increase provisions at the year-end. Moreover, changes in German tax legislation relating to the treatment of existing corporation tax credits led to an exceptional tax expense of euro 50 million for the financial year 2003.