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20 April 2017, 06:41 | Kelvin Horton
BMW falls behind rival Mercedes as margin slides
Profits before tax increased by 27 percent to 3.0 billion euros ($3.2 billion) in the period from January to March, compared with the same period a year earlier, the Munich-based group said in a statement.
BMW's profitability is taking a hit as its aging production lineup slows sales growth and forces the automaker to offer incentives to woo buyers. BMW's first-quarter deliveries gained 5.2 per cent compared with a 16 per cent jump at Mercedes.
BMW said the value of the stake in Here had risen by 183m euros. "Generally in the auto industry, the environment for pricing has been negative". The results were driven in particular by positive valuation effects.
First-quarter earnings before interest and taxes rose 7.7 percent to €2.65 billion (Dh10.45bn), exceeding the €1.45bn average of three analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg.
BMW affirmed its guidance for a slight increase in full-year group pretax profit and an operating margin of 8 to 10 percent at its automotive business, which posted a first-quarter margin of 9.0 percent, down from 9.4 percent a year earlier.
BMW also said its China joint venture, BMW Brilliance Automotive Ltd., was more profitable than expected and that new investors into its HERE mapping service added €183 million to its bottom line.
The luxury carmaker is due to publish detailed first-quarter results on May 4.
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