BMW offsets lower deliveries with higher prices, EV sales

By Victoria Waldersee

BERLIN (Reuters) -Higher prices and strong electric vehicle sales helped German automaker BMW beat analysts’ forecasts on Wednesday with a 42.4% year-on-year increase in third quarter net profit to 2.58 billion euros ($2.99 billion).

The premium automaker, which said earlier this year it expected to deliver up to 90,000 fewer cars in 2021 because of a global shortage of semiconductor chips, saw deliveries fall 12.2% in the third quarter but still boosted revenues by 4.5%.

Electric vehicles in particular saw a significant boost, with sales in the nine months to September almost double last year’s levels at just under 232,000 vehicles.

“A better product mix and good price setting of new vehicles alongside a stable pricing trend of used vehicles strengthened the financial performance of the business,” a company statement said, reporting an operating profit (EBIT) margin in its automotive division of 7.8%.

Automakers from Volkswagen to Stellantis to Renault reported dampened third quarter sales due to scarce chip supply. Companies able to offset losses through higher prices – such as BMW rival Daimler – fared better than others.

BMW had warned in August that supply chain bottlenecks would hit the second half of the year, after it reaped net profits of 4.8 billion euros in the second quarter in a post-lockdown rebound.

Across Germany, passenger car output was 35% below 2019 levels in the three months to September, according to auto industry association data.

Still, BMW maintained its full-year EBIT margin forecast of 9.5% to 10.5% for its automotive division, adding this goal would be achieved through slightly reducing the number of employees.

“We are on track for our full-year forecast and are looking forward,” CFO Nicolas Peter said. “We expect that semiconductor supply will be in an issue for us beyond 2021.”

($1 = 0.8636 euros)

(Reporting by Victoria WalderseeEditing by Shounak Dasgupta and Mark Potter)

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