BMW reports 2006 record year
The BMW Group continued its successful course in 2006 with record figures for sales volume and revenues. Compared to the previous year, group revenues increased by 5.0% to euro 48,999 million (2005: euro 46,656 million). Revenues generated by the Automobiles segment went up by 4.2% to euro 47,767 million (2005: euro 45,861 million). The Motorcycles segment generated revenues of euro 1,265 million (2005: euro 1,223 million/+3.4%), whilst revenues from financial services rose by 17.8% to euro 11,079 million (2005: euro 9.408 million).
The total number of BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce brand vehicles delivered to customers increased by 3.5% to 1,373,970 units (2005: 1,327,992 units). "2006 has been the best financial year in the company’s history. We have reinforced our position as the world’s leading premium manufacturer by posting a new record sales volume figure", stated Norbert Reithofer, Chairman of BMW AG’s Board of Management in Munich on Friday.
Earnings target for 2006 remains unchanged
In the light of the positive performance, the group is maintaining its earnings target for the financial year 2006. Higher volumes and internal efficiency improvements should, to a large degree, offset the adverse effects from foreign exchange and higher raw material prices as previously reported. "We remain confident that we will be able to post record pre-tax earnings of euro 4 billion for 2006" continued Reithofer. The BMW Group will publish its earnings figures, as usual, in March.
New sales volume record targeted for 2007
The BMW Group plans to achieve further growth on the back of its strong brands and product portfolios and to sell more than 1.4 million cars in the current year. "The BMW Group is heading towards a new sales volume record in 2007. We want to maintain our position in the current year as the number one manufacturer in the premium segment" underlined Reithofer. "All three brands should achieve new sales volume records", he added.
Capital expenditure increased
Capital expenditure in 2006 rose by 8.0% to euro 4,313 million (2005: euro 3,993 million). Capitalised development costs recognised as assets in accordance with IAS increased by 10.0% to euro 1,536 million (2005: euro 1,396 million) as a result of up-front expenditure for new models. Capital expenditure for property, plant and equipment and other intangible assets increased by 6.9% to euro 2.777 million (2005: euro 2,597 million), partly in connection with the expansion of the production network.
Slight increase in workforce
The number of employees increased slightly during the past year. At the end of 2006, the worldwide workforce comprised 106,575 employees, an increase of 0.7% (31 December 2005: 105,798 employees). Due to the fact that some apprentices’ final examinations were held at an earlier date this year, the number of apprentice positions at 31 December 2006, at 4,359, was marginally lower than one year earlier (4,464).
BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce brands each at the top of its segment in 2006
During the past year, the group’s three brands - BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce - each headed the market in its own segment.
The number of BMW brand cars sold increased by 5.2% to 1,185,088 units (2005: 1,126,768) units. The BMW 3 Series was again, by far, the BMW Group’s best-selling model series during the past year. Overall, the sales volume of this model series climbed by 17.1% to 508,479 units (2005: 434,342 units). The 3 Series therefore accounted for 43% of all BMW brand vehicles sold in 2006. The 5 Series took second place with 232,193 units sold (2005: 228,389 units /+1.7%). The 1 Series, which will be launching a three-door version within the compact class at the end of May 2007, came in third place with 151,918 units sold (2005: 149,493 units /+1.6%). This was followed by the BMW X3 with 114,000 units sold (2005: 110,719 units /+3.0%).
The sales volume of the BMW X5 fell by 25.8% to 75,321 units (2005: 101,537 units) in advance of the model change; the new X5 has been available in the USA since November 2006. The 7 Series reinforced its strong position in the luxury class, registering a sales volume of 50,227 units (2005: 50,062 units /+0.3%). With 30,981 units sold (2005: 28,808 units), the Z4 was 7.5% ahead of the level achieved one year earlier. 21,947 units of the BMW 6 Series were delivered to customers (2005: 23,340 units/-6.0%).
Restricted availability caused by capacity extension measures at the Oxford plant meant that the MINI saw its sales volume decrease by 6.2% to 188,077 units (2005: 200,428 units). The second generation of the MINI was launched on the European markets on 18 November 2006. The sales volume of the MINI should pick up sharply in the current year and exceed the previous high level recorded in 2005.
Rolls-Royce Motor Cars recorded a small increase in sales volume, with 805 Phantom sold in 2006 (2005: 796 units /+1.1%). Since the Rolls-Royce marque was launched in 2003 within the BMW Group, it has succeeded in increasing sales volume for the third time in succession. The Rolls-Royce model range continues to expand, the latest addition being the two-door Cabriolet Phantom Drophead Coupé presented at the Detroit Motor Show. Production of this vehicle is planned to start at the Goodwood plant in summer 2007.
100,000 motorcycles sold for the first time in a single year in 2006
The group’s motorcycle business also made good progress in 2006, with the annual sales volume figure surpassing the 100,000 mark for the first time. The number of motorcycles sold increased by 2.7% to 100,064 units (2005: 97,474 units).
Financial services business remains on growth course
The BMW Group’s financial services business continued to grow in 2006. The volume of new retail customer contracts rose by 4.0% to euro 24,449 million, and hence reached a new record level (2005: euro 23,507 million). The proportion of new BMW and MINI cars financed by the Financial Services segment increased in 2006 to 42.4% (2005: 41.1%).