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BMW's profits jump in second quarter

The world's leading luxury carmaker BMW has strengthened its grip on the premium car market, logging a huge rise in profits. Amid growing demand for cars worldwide, the company is on track to break new sales records.

German top-of-the-range carmaker BMW announced Tuesday that its net profit rose by 27.2 percent between April and June, reaching a total of 1.77 billion euros ($2.4 billion).

Underlying or operating profit was up 26 percent at 2.6 billion euros on a 1.8-percent increase in revenues to 19.9 billion euros, the carmaker, which is based in Munich, said in its latest earnings report.

Unit sales also increased in the period, as BMW sold 533,187 vehicles - a rise by 5.3 percent.

"The BMW group increased sales volume, revenues and group earnings in both the second quarter and the six-month reporting periods, continuing the successful development of our business," Chief Executive Norbert Reithofer said in a statement.

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BMW is the world's largest premium carmaker ahead of Germany's Daimler and Audi. The group includes the luxury brands BMW and Rolls Royce as well as the Mini city car. Driven by rising demand for its car in China and the United States, the manufacturer set a new annual sales record last year.

This year, revenues were increasingly impacted by the strong euro, CEO Reithofer said, which had also dampened figures for the second quarter. Reithofer added that BMW would nevertheless stick to its sales volume and earnings forecast for the full year.

"Within a market environment which continues to be challenging, deliveries to customers and group profit are both expected to rise significantly," he said.

For 2014, BMW aims for a new sales record of over 2 million vehicles, but noted that earnings growth would be influenced by high levels of expenditure on new technologies.

uhe/hg (AP, Reuters, dpa)

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