FRANKFURT May 6 German luxury car maker BMW AG reiterated its ambitious 2014 goals as first quarter operating profit rose 2.6 percent, in-line with forecasts, helped by a 12.1 percent rise in sales of BMW cars.
BMW is investing to expand production capacity and its model range to retain the crown of biggest selling luxury carmaker ahead of Audi and Mercedes, but spending hit earnings before interest and tax, which came in at 2.09 billion euros, just above the 2.05 billion euros ($2.83 billion) average forecast in a Reuters poll.
BMW's automotive EBIT margin, the best gauge to compare profitability with peers, was 9.5 percent in the quarter, higher than the 7 percent achieved by rival Mercedes-Benz Cars but short of the 10.1 percent achieved by Audi.
Munich-based BMW reiterated its aim to achieve a significant rise in sales volume in 2014 to 2 million cars or more, after it delivered a record 1.96 million Mini, Rolls Royce and BMW cars in 2013.
BMW also targets a rise in pre-tax profits of up to 10 percent for 2014. (Reporting by Edward Taylor; Editing by Jonathan Gould)