German carmaker BMW is on course for record profits in 2014 after announcing an 11% rise in its first quarter operating profit following strong sales in China and improvements in Europe.
After the Munich-based automotive manufacturer invested in its production and vehicle range, earnings rose to €1.46bn from €1.31bn in the same quarter last year.
The confirmed figure was higher than the €1.35bn forecast among analysts surveyed by financial information provider FactSet, after BMW profited from what it said were “increasingly friendly market conditions” in the first quarter of 2014.
It also cited the improvement of sales in Europe, where revenues rose 3.9% to €18.24bn as the company sold 3.4% more cars in the continent.
Sales rose by 21 percent in Asia and by 25 percent in China, where strong demand has supported earnings for BMW and its German competitors Volkswagen and Daimler.
Growth was slower in the United States as sales figures came in at 2.7%, but BMW said the country’s underlying economic climate remained positive.
A lot of the growth in its car sales is credited to models such as its 3 Series and 5 Series, while the redone X5 Sport-utility also performed strongly throughout the first quarter.
BMW also saw improvements in its motorcycle business, as sales rose 16% percent to 28,719.
The company said it saw the 500-cc plus motorcycles market emerge from the doldrums for the first time in several years, owing in part to the spring weather in Europe seeing an earlier start to the motorcycling season.