BMW's Rolls-Royce has reported record first quarter sales, up 62% on the same period in 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic started, initially in China.

The total number of cars delivered - 1,380 - beat the previous record set in 2019 and was the highest in the brand's 116-year history. It was acquired by BMW in 2001.

Sales growth was seen in all markets, with the strongest in China (where recovery, like the pandemic, began earlier), the US and Asia Pacific.

The automaker said high demand for all models, particularly the Ghost and Cullinan, had resulted in waiting lists extending "well into the second half of 2021" with orders for one-off customised vehicles also at record levels.

"We have every reason to be optimistic for the remainder of 2021," said CEO Torsten Mueller-Otvos.

The results were included in Q1 2021 data for the BMW Group.