BMW beams after model year

By Jeremy van Loon From Shanghai Daily| Jan 27 2007
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BAYERISCHE Motoren Werke AG, the world's largest maker of luxury cars, said yesterday sales rose five percent to a record last year after the company introduced new versions of the 3-Series and X3 sports-utility vehicle models.

Revenue increased to 49 billion euros (US$63.4 billion) from 46.7 billion euros a year earlier, the Munich-based company said in an e-mailed statement, Bloomberg News reported.

BMW, which will release earnings results in March, reiterated that pre-tax profit will climb to a record four billion euros, helped by a gain from the sale of a stake in airplane-engine maker Rolls-Royce Group Plc.

Chief Executive Norbert Reithofer, who took over from Helmut Panke in September, launched a new X5 SUV and Mini in the second half to maintain sales growth.

This year BMW faces increased competition from DaimlerChrysler AG's new Mercedes-Benz C-Class, which competes with the 3-Series, and Toyota Motor Corp's new Lexus LS, a full-sized luxury sedan.

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