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BMW targets steady 2024 margins as electric spending peaks

Published 03/21/2024, 02:33 AM
Updated 03/21/2024, 04:35 AM
© Reuters. A BMW Vision Neue Klasse is displayed next to the company's logo during an event a day ahead of the official opening of the 2023 Munich Auto Show IAA Mobility, in Munich, Germany, September 4, 2023. REUTERS/Angelika Warmuth/file photo
BMWG
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By Andrey Sychev and Nick Carey

(Reuters) -BMW said on Thursday it was targeting 2024 automotive profit margins broadly in line with last year and expected a slight increase in car sales, as spending on launching electric vehicles across its model line-up peaks this year.

"We are investing in the future of our company like never before," finance chief Walter Mertl said in a statement.

BMW (ETR:BMWG) shares were down 1% in early trading.

The premium German automaker said fully-electric vehicle sales should rise significantly in 2024 after jumping 74% in 2023.

Fully-electric cars made up 15% of sales last year and the company said sales were up by a "significant double-digit percentage" so far this year.

BMW said it expected overall deliveries of key brands BMW, MINI, and Rolls-Royce (OTC:RYCEY) this year to be slightly higher than in 2023.

It said the operating profit margin in its core automotive division should be in a range of 8-10%, versus 9.8% in 2023.

The 2023 margin, reported last week, fell short of expectations due to higher costs. BMW also had to slash dividends as consolidation of its Chinese joint venture weighed on the bottom line.

The automaker also did not announce an extension of its current share buyback plans, which "could provide a potential source of disappointment, amidst accelerated buyback programmes from other automakers", Bernstein analyst Daniel Roeska wrote in a client note.

© Reuters. A BMW Vision Neue Klasse is displayed next to the company's logo during an event a day ahead of the official opening of the 2023 Munich Auto Show IAA Mobility, in Munich, Germany, September 4, 2023. REUTERS/Angelika Warmuth/file photo

BMW said capital expenditure and spending on research and development to support its switch to fully-electric models should peak in 2024.

Used car prices, which spiked in the wake of the pandemic because supply-chain shortages curtailed new car production, have come back down as automakers increase output. BMW said that meant its revenue from selling returned leased cars would fall this year versus 2023.

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