BMW Group is claiming the year 2001 as its most successful yet after reporting profits up 59.5 percent (1,210 million euros) to 3,242 million euros.

Group revenue grew 3.3 percent to 38,463 million euros while net profit improved 54.3 percent to 1,866 million euros.

Gross margin on sales was 8.4 percent, up from 5.5 percent in 2000.

BMW’s board is proposing a dividend of 0.52 euros per share of common stock (2000: 0.46 euro) and 0.54 per share of preferred stock (2000: euro 0.48), an increase in the dividend of 13 percent (common stock) and 12.5 percent (preferred stock).

Car sales profit increased 2.2 percent to 2,792 million euros despite high costs for new product launches.

The motorcycles business also exceeded its previous year’s result by 78.8% and recorded a profit of 59 million euros. BMW financial services increased profit 11.1 percent to 390 million euros.

Earnings per share of common stock and preferred stock in 2001 increased 2.78 and 2.80 euros respectively compared with 1.80 and 1.82 euros respectively in 2001.

The company said that the favourable business development seen in 2001 continued into the first two months of the new fiscal year.

“We anticipate that the positive trend will continue throughout the fiscal year 2002 and that the BMW Group will therefore be able to post improvements on all key performance indicators,” said chairman Joachim Milberg.

BMW has appointed Stefan Krause as board member responsible for finance to succeed Helmut Panke.

Panke will become chairman when Milberg stands down on 16 May 2002 after the annual general meeting.