BMW has announced that its revenue rose by 5% to a record 49 billion euros last year. The company, which is the world’s biggest maker of luxury cars, credits the introduction of a new version of its top selling 3-series.
Profit will also be a record at four billion euros, helped by the sale of its stake in aircraft engine maker Rolls Royce.
The total number of BMWs, Minis and Rolls-Royce cars sold increased by 3.5% to 1.37 million. In second place was Mercedes-Benz which delivered 1.26 million. In third position, Toyota’s Lexus brand sold 670,000.
Chief executive Norbert Reithofer said 2006 was “the best in the company’s history” and he predicted sales will rise to 1.4 million cars this year.
BMW said that greater production volumes and internal efficiency improvements should mostly offset the effects of foreign exchange and higher raw materials costs.
Demand for the Mini remains high, but sales fell by 6.2%. That was because the company made fewer Minis as the introduction of the new model meant that the UK factory had to be restructured which lowered production.