BERLIN BMW (BMWG.DE), the world's biggest luxury car maker, may increase dividends to as much as 40 percent of profit in coming years if earnings continue to rise, Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung reported on Saturday, citing Chief Financial Officer Friedrich Eichiner.
Munich-based BMW aims to pay out "between 30 and 40 percent of profit" to shareholders, the newspaper quoted the CFO as saying in an interview. The company has proposed to pay shareholders 1.5 billion euros ($1.94 billion), or 30.7 percent of 2011 profit, with 2.32 euros per preferred share and 2.30 euros per common share.
"If our pleasant business development sticks to planned targets, then it could become more in future," Eichiner was quoted as saying.
Last week, BMW reported record first-quarter profits which surpassed even the most bullish analyst estimates thanks in large part to sales in China, now the company's single biggest market.
BMW group sales rose 6.1 percent in April to a record 145,505 vehicles, driven by demand for the core BMW brand in nearly all regions of the world.
(Reporting By Andreas Cremer; Editing by Toby Chopra)