- New highs for sales volume, revenues and earnings in first quarter
- Group revenues up by 14.7% to € 20.9 billion
- Profit before financial result 20.6% higher at € 2.5 billion
- Profit before tax improved to approximately € 2.3 billion
- Automotive segment EBIT margin of 9.5%
- Earnings outlook for current year confirmed
Group revenues grew significantly by 14.7% to € 20,917 million (2014: € 18,235 million). Profit before financial result (EBIT) for the three-month period rose by 20.6% to € 2,521 million (2014: € 2,090 million), thanks to strong performances by the Automotive, Motorcycles and Financial Services segments.
The EBIT margin for the Group was 12.1% (2014: 11.5%). Profit before tax(EBT) improved by 5.1% to € 2,269 million (2014: € 2,159 million). Net profit came in at € 1,516 million (2014: € 1,458 million), 4.0% ahead of the previous year's first quarter.
Automobile sales volume of the BMW Group climbed by 8.1% to 526,669 units (2014: 487,024 units), thus setting a new record for the period. "We have got off to a good start in 2015", commented Norbert Reithofer, the Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG on Wednesday in Munich.
Automotive segment: EBIT margin at upper end of target range
Automotive segment revenues increased by 14.1% in the first quarter to € 18,893 million (2014: € 16,559 million) due to the increase in sales volume and changes in the fixed exchange rates. EBIT climbed by 13.5% to € 1,794 million (2014: € 1,580 million).
The EBIT margin in the Automotive segment was unchanged at 9.5% and is therefore in the upper half of the targeted range of between 8 and 10%. Profit before tax amounting to € 1,634 million (2014: € 1,643 million; -0.5%) was at a similar level to the previous year. Earnings were held down by a number of factors, such as fair value losses recognized on commodity derivatives.
The BMW brand also recorded a new sales volume high, with 451,576 units (2014: 428,259 units; +5.4%) sold during the first quarter. Tailwind came from numerous models, including the BMW X5 and the 4, 5 and 6 Series, each of which achieved the pole position in their relevant segments.
The BMW 2 Series recorded a total sales volume of 27,930 units (2014: 2,608 units) in the period from January to March. Sales of the BMW 3 Series remained at a high level, with 107,283 units (2014: 116,671 units; -8.0%) sold during the period. As the Convertible and Coupé models are now part of the BMW 4 Series, the previous year's high level was not quite achieved. Sales of the BMW 4 Series more than doubled in the same period to 36,545 units (2014: 17,709 units).
The various models of the BMW X family also remain very popular. First-quarter sales of the BMW X4 totalled 13,925 units. The BMW X5 recorded a 29.7% jump in sales volume to 40,242 units (2014: 31,025 units), while the BMW X6 increased sales by 4.7% to 9,588 units (2014: 9,160 units).BMW i remains on the road to success, with a total of 6,636 units (2014: 2,022 units; +228.2%) sold in the first quarter.
MINI , too, recorded a new high for first-quarter deliveries to customers, registering a sales volume of 74,312 units (2014: 57,868 units), 28.4% up on the previous year. Sales of the MINI (3 and 5 door) more than doubled to 47,922 units (2014: 17,860 units).
In the ultra-luxury segment, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars achieved the second-best first-quarter sales volume performance in its history, with 781 units delivered to customers (2014: 897 units; -12.9%), including 310 units (2014: 305 units; +1.6%) of the Rolls-Royce Ghost.
In line with its strategy of a balanced distribution of worldwide sales, the BMW Group recorded sales volume growth in all major sales regions.
In Europe, sales of the Group's three automobile brands increased by 9.6% to 234,849 units (2014: 214,210 units). Sales volume was 3.4% higher in Germany at 64,610 units (2014: 62,502 units). The number of vehicles sold in the United Kingdom grew by 15.1% to 53,534 units (2014: 46,500 units).
A total of 166,678 units (2014: 158,582 units; +5.1%) was sold in Asia, including sales on the Chinese mainland which grew by 6.4% to 115,078 units (2014: 108,143 units).
In the Americas region, sales volume climbed by 9.9% to 109,743 units (2014: 99,840 units), with sales in the USA rising significantly by 12.6% to 91,479 units (2014: 81,248 units).
Motorcycles segment records new highs
The Motorcycles segment continues to perform well. Segment revenues for the three-month period grew by 20.1% to € 567 million (2014: € 472 million) on the back of good sales volumes and a high-value model mix. EBIT rose by 79.7% to € 115 million (2014: € 64 million), while profit before tax advanced by 81.0% to € 114 million (2014: € 63 million). Sales volume climbed by 9.2% to 31,370 units (2014: 28,719 units). The figures reported for earnings and sales volume represented new first-quarter highs. The upward trend in business has been further boosted by the new BMW R 1200 R, R 1200 RS, S 1000 RR, S 1000 XR and F 800 R models, which have been in the showrooms since March.
Another successful quarter for Financial Services
The Financial Services segment continued to perform well during the period from January to March, recording new first-quarter highs. Segment revenues were 23.9% higher at € 6,058 million (2014: € 4,890 million), while profit before tax rose by 23.4% to € 559 million (2014: € 453 million). The segment result benefited in particular from favourable exchange rate developments.
In total, 384,565 (2014: 348,072) new financing and leasing contracts were signed during the first quarter, 10.5% more than in the previous year. The number of lease and financing contractsincreased by 6.0% to a total of 4,419,817 contracts (2014: 4,170,318 contracts).
The size of the workforce grew by 5.5% compared to the end of the previous year's first quarter. Overall, the BMW Group had a worldwide workforce of 117,554 employees at the end of the reporting period (31 March 2014: 111,378 employees). The BMW Group continues to recruit engineers and other skilled workers, in order to keep pace with rising demand for BMW Group vehicles, push ahead with innovations and develop new technologies.
BMW Group reaffirms targets for the full year
The BMW Group can look ahead to the rest of the year with confidence, thanks to its attractive range of models. Economic conditions in some regions will, however, continue to pose challenges. The situation on the Russian automobile market, for instance, is likely to remain difficult. The ongoing process of normalisation of the Chinese automobile market is also likely to continue, resulting in less dynamic growth.
The BMW Group forecasts rising personnel costs over the course of the current financial year as well as ongoing upfront expenditure for further growth and new technologies. The political and economic environment is also expected to remain volatile.
The BMW Group expects tailwind in 2015 due to its attractive model range, the market launch of 15 new models and model revisions and because of the forecast positive development of international automobile markets.
The BMW Group reaffirms its targets for the full year. "We are aiming to achieve solid growth in 2015, and hence new record figures for sales volume and profit before tax", commented Reithofer. The BMW Group also predicts that it will remain the world's leading manufacturer of premium vehicles in 2015.
Automotive segment revenues are forecast to grow significantly due to the increase in sales volume and exchange rate factors. The company had previously expected a solid growth in revenues. The EBIT margin in 2015 is forecast to remain within the targeted range of between 8 and 10%.
The BMW Group forecasts that the Motorcycles segment will continue its upward trend in the current year, helped by positive contributions from the new models launched in time for the start of the biking season. Sales of BMW motorcycles over the year as a whole are forecast to grow solidly.
The Financial Services segment should also continue to perform well throughout 2015. Despite rising equity capital requirements worldwide, the BMW Group forecasts a return on equity (RoE) in line with the previous year’s level (2014: 19.4%), thus remaining ahead of the target of at least 18%.
The BMW Group's forecasts for the financial year 2015 are based on the assumption that political and economic conditions remain more or less stable.
The BMW Group – an overview
Change in %
Profit before financial result (EBIT)
Profit before tax (EBT)
Earnings per share2
*Prior year figures partially adjusted in accordance with IAS 8
1 Figures exclude dormant employment contracts, employees in the work and non-work phases of pre-retirement part-time working arrangements and low wage earners
2 Earnings per share of common stock/preferred stock