BMW Group firmly on course and confirms targets for 2019

BMW Group firmly on course and confirms targets for 2019

01.08.2019: - Krüger: "We deliver on our promises" - BMW brand clear leader in global premium segment in June - Bucking the trend: Retail sales and market share increased

- Krüger: "We deliver on our promises"

- BMW brand clear leader in global premium segment in June

- Bucking the trend: Retail sales and market share increased

- Automotive segment EBIT margin improved in Q2

- BMW Group accelerates pace of e-mobility activities

- Further increase in upfront expenditure for mobility of the future

The BMW Group's operations remained well on course during the second quarter, despite a challenging market environment. In line with forecast, the Group achieved an improvement in both earnings and profitability compared to the first quarter and confirms its targets for the financial year 2019.


Against the prevailing market trend, in the first half of the year the BMW Group delivered more vehicles to customers than ever before, thereby gaining segment share in key markets. With its attractive, rejuvenated range of models, the BMW brand finished with a clear lead in the premium segment in June.


“At the six-month stage, we are on course to meet our targets for the full year. We are inspiring customers with new products and once again succeeded in increasing automobile deliveries to a new record level in the first half of the year," said Harald Krüger, Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG, on Thursday in Munich. "We deliver what we promise – even in fast-changing times. We consistently leverage new technologies to successfully master the enormous challenges facing our industry during this current phase of transformation."


E-mobility continues to gather pace


As announced, the BMW Group is again significantly upping the pace when it comes to electric mobility: The 25 electrified models initially announced for 2025 will now be available in 2023, two years earlier than originally planned. Over half of these 25 models will be fully electric.

The basis for these models are flexible vehicle architectures for all-electric vehicles, plug-in hybrids and conventional combustion-engine models as well as a highly flexible production system that enables the company to respond swiftly to fluctuating market requirements.

 By 2021, deliveries of electrified vehicles are predicted to double compared to 2019. The BMW Group then expects to see a steep growth curve up to 2025, with the volume of electrified vehicles delivered forecast to grow on average by more than 30% per year.


As a pioneer in the field of electric mobility, the BMW Group is already a leading supplier of electrified vehicles. By the end of 2019, the company plans to have more than half a million vehicles with either all-electric or plug-in hybrid drivetrains on the road. In two years' time, the BMW Group will be offering five all-electric series production vehicles. In addition to the BMW i3 – demand for which increased by more than 20% in the first six months of 2019 – production of the all-electric MINI* will commence at the Oxford plant in November.

When the vehicle was presented in July, more than 40,000 customers expressed their keen interest in the MINI ELECTRIC*. In 2020, production of the all-electric BMW iX3 will begin in Shenyang, China, followed in 2021 by the BMW iNEXT, which will be manufactured at the BMW Group's Dingolfing plant. In the same year, the BMW i4 will go into series production at the Munich plant.


BMW Group flexibly positioned in terms of drivetrain technologies


Regulatory and customer requirements can differ significantly from one market to the next. Alternative drivetrain technologies are also being introduced at varying speeds in different regions. Therefore the BMW Group is focusing on the following: "We are consistently expanding e-mobility with all-electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids and continuing to optimise our already economical combustion engines. Moreover, we are also investing in new technologies such as the fuel cell," commented Krüger.


On this road to the future of mobility, substantial upfront expenditure was again necessary during the period under report and, as expected, has again exceeded the high level seen in 2018. Second-quarter research and development expenses totalled € 1,400 million, 5.9% more than the previous year.

Investments in property, plant and equipment climbed by more than one third to € 1,176 million (2018: € 846 million; +39.0%), mainly due to the ongoing new model initiative and the modernisation of our plant structures, making them more flexible. The growing proportion of electrified vehicles is also contributing to higher production costs. Unfavourable exchange rate factors and rising prices for raw materials had a dampening impact on earnings between April and June and competition also remained fierce on many markets.


Second-quarter Group revenues up slightly


In the second quarter 2019, the BMW Group set a new record for vehicle sales, comprising 647,504 BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce premium vehicles (2018: 637,878 units; +1.5%) delivered. This positive development was largely influenced by the contribution of the BMW Brilliance Automotive joint venture in China. Group revenues for the three-month period rose to € 25,715 million (2018: € 24,993; +2.9%).

Affected by upfront expenditure for future mobility, profit before financial result (EBIT) amounting to € 2,201 million was lower than in the previous year (2018: € 2,739 million; -19.6%). Group profit before tax (EBT) amounted to € 2,053 million (2018: € 2,866 million; -28.4%). The second-quarter EBT margin for the Group came in at 8.0% (2018: 11.5%). Group net profit amounted to € 1,480 million (2018: € 2,076 million; -28.7%).


During the first six months of 2019, the BMW Group delivered a total of 1,252,837 vehicles to customers (2018: 1,242,507 units; +0.8%). At € 48,177 million, Group revenues were slightly up on the previous year (2018: € 47,658 million; +1.1%). Earnings in the first half of the financial year 2019 were impacted by a provision of approximately € 1.4 billion recognised in the first quarter in connection with the Statement of Objections received from the EU Commission relating to ongoing antitrust proceedings.

Accordingly, at € 2,790 million, profit before financial result (EBIT) reported for the six-month period was significantly lower than in the previous year (2018: € 5,446 million; -48.8%). Group profit before tax (EBT) amounted to € 2,815 million (2018: € 6,005 million; -53.1%), corresponding to an EBT margin of 5.8% (2018: 12.6%). The BMW Group reports six-month Group net profit of € 2,068 million (2018: € 4,358 million; -52.5%).


"In the second quarter, despite high upfront expenditure to drive tomorrow’s mobility, we proved our operating efficiency by achieving a very solid level of free cash flow," pointed out Nicolas Peter, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, Finance. "The BMW Group sets itself ambitious targets, even in challenging times: We want to grow sustainably and profitably and shape the transformation of our industry, fully leveraging our own underlying strength."


In order to do so, the BMW Group is committed to implementing even faster processes and leaner structures, resulting in greater efficiency. The BMW Group thus intends to secure the financial headroom needed to be able to decisively shape individual premium mobility on a sustainable basis over the coming decade . Among other advantages, the Performance > NEXT initiative will shorten development times for new vehicle models by up to one third. On the product side, up to 50% of today's drivetrain variants will be eliminated from 2021 onwards, in the transition to creating enhanced flexible vehicle architectures.

Moreover, the model portfolio is regularly assessed with a view to finding additional potential ways of reducing complexity. Potential for greater synergy and efficiency in indirect purchasing as well as material and production costs is also being leveraged throughout the Group. By the end of 2022, the Group intends to save more than 12 billion euros through efficiency-boosting measures.


Second-quarter EBIT margin at 6.5 percent


Automotive segment revenues between April and June totalled € 22,624 million and were therefore slightly higher than one year earlier (2018: € 22,192 million; +1.9%). Against a backdrop of high upfront expenditure, EBIT amounted to € 1,469 million (2018: € 1,919 million; -23.4%). The second-quarter EBIT margin came in at 6.5% (2018: 8.6%). Profit before tax amounted to € 1,483 million (2018: € 2,062 million; -28.1%).


Segment revenues for the six-month period totalled € 41,837 million, similar to the previous year’s level (2018: € 41,518 million; +0.8%). As described above, EBIT for the first half of the year was influenced by the provision (approximately € 1.4 billion) recognised in the first quarter due to the Statement of Objections received from the EU Commission relating to ongoing antitrust proceedings and accordingly amounted to € 1,159 million (2018: € 3,800 million; -69.5%). An EBIT margin of 2.8% (2018: 9.2%) was therefore recorded for the first half year. Profit before tax amounted to € 1,456 million (2018: € 4,343 million; -66.5%).


Worldwide, the BMW brand delivered 1,075,959 vehicles (2018: 1,059,296 vehicles; +1.6%) to customers, its best-ever result for an opening six-month period. The BMW X models were particularly popular – above all the BMW X3, which has also been produced locally in China since the summer of 2018. The number of deliveries of this vehicle between January and June increased by more 90% compared to the previous year. On the back of this strong performance, the BMW brand achieved a clear lead in the premium segment in June.


In a highly competitive segment, and with the company maintaining its focus on profitability, MINI brand sales in the first half of the year decreased slightly. In total, 177,344 vehicles were delivered between January and June (2018: 181,430 vehicles; -3.9%).


Strong sales growth continued at Rolls-Royce, with a total of 2,534 Rolls-Royce motor cars delivered to customers across the globe (+42.3%) in the first half of the year. Growth was seen in every region worldwide, with sustained demand for all model families. Exceptional customer demand for Cullinan continues, resulting in a strong order book, already stretching into the first quarter of 2020. The marque remains on track for a strong year in 2019.


BMW Group strives for evenly balanced delivery distribution worldwide


The BMW Group remains committed to its strategy of achieving an even distribution of deliveries worldwide, including a well-balanced relationship between production and delivery volumes by region. In this endeavour, it leverages its highly flexible production and sales structures to even out fluctuating demand between individual regions.


At 550,446 units, deliveries in Europe during the six-month period were slightly down on the previous year (2018: 562,102 units; -2.1%). In Germany, the region’s largest single market, the BMW Group recorded solid growth, with deliveries up to 161,308 units (2018: 149,718 units: +7.7%).


Deliveries of BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce brand vehicles in Asia during the first half of the year increased to 453,355 units (2018: 423,890 units; + 7.0%). China contributed significantly to this performance, with deliveries of the Group’s three brands up by 16.8% to a total of 350,592 units (2018: 300,153 units).


In the Americas region, deliveries fell slightly between January and June to 222,272 units (2018: 226,061 units; -1.7%). The figure for the USA stood at 174,779 units (2018: 176,570 units; -1.0%).


Motorcycles segment reports higher revenues and earnings


BMW Motorrad was able to increase deliveries of its motorcycles and maxi-scooters in the second quarter to 54,582 units (2018: 51,117 units; +6.8%), resulting in a corresponding increase in revenues to € 727 million (2018: € 658 million; +10.5%). EBIT also improved, rising to € 102 million for the three-month period (2018: € 98 million; +4.1%). The second-quarter EBIT margin for the segment came in at 14.0% (2018: 14.9%).


Six-month deliveries rose to 93,188 units (2018: 86,975; +7.1%). Segment revenues amounted to € 1,313 million (2018: € 1,182 million; +11.1%). EBIT increased to € 191 million (2018: € 175 million; +9.1%), resulting in an EBIT margin of 14.5% (2018: 14.8%).


Successful start to year for Financial Services segment


The contract portfolio under management within the Financial Services segment increased by 1.7% to 5,806,248 contracts at the end of the reporting period (31 December 2018: 5,708,032 contracts). During the second quarter, 501,663 (2018: 480,303; +4.4%) new credit financing and lease contracts were signed with retail customers. Revenues grew by 4.8% to € 7,364 million (2018: € 7,027 million), generating profit before tax of € 573 million (2018: € 603 million; -5.0%).


In total, 971,287 new contracts were concluded with customers during the six-month period under report (2018: 932,211; +4.2%). Segment revenues increased to € 14,510 million (2018: € 13,588 million; +6.8%). Profit before tax rose to € 1,200 million (2018: € 1,156 million; +3.8%).


Workforce at previous year’s level


The BMW Group’s workforce comprised 134,914 employees at 30 June 2019, on par with the level recorded at 31 December 2018 (134,682; +0.2%).

The BMW Group continues to recruit skilled workers and IT specialists on a selective basis to engage in forward-looking projects such as digitalisation, autonomous driving and electric mobility. Over 2019 as a whole, however, capitalising on natural fluctuation trends, the aim is to maintain the workforce at the previous year's level.


BMW Group reaffirms targets for current financial year


The BMW Group sets itself ambitious targets, even in politically and economically turbulent times. With its young product portfolio, further rejuvenated by new models, the Group aims to remain the world’s leading automotive manufacturer in the premium segment. Driven by numerous model changes, volume growth is expected to continue during the second half of the year.


The BMW Group will continue to invest substantial amounts in new technologies and the mobility of the future in 2019. Costs are also being driven up in other areas, including the significantly higher cost of complying with stricter carbon emission legislation. Against this background, rising manufacturing costs are likely to have a dampening effect on earnings. Moreover, unfavourable currency factors and higher raw materials prices are expected to have a negative impact in the mid-three-digit million range. At the same time, the ongoing issue of international trade conflicts remains a source of uncertainty.


Taking all these factors into account, the BMW Group is confident of its ability to achieve volume growth in the Automotive segment, where it is targeting a slight increase in the number of deliveries to customers in 2019. Within a stable business environment, an EBIT margin in the range of 8 to 10% remains the ambition for the BMW Group. However, its ability to influence underlying conditions is limited. Without the effect of the provision for the ongoing antitrust proceedings amounting to ca. € 1.4 billion, the target range for the EBIT margin of 6-8% has not changed. However, since the provision has a negative impact on the EBIT margin, the BMW Group is expecting a margin in the Automotive segment for 2019 between 4.5 and 6.5%.


With its rejuvenated model range, the Motorcycles segment is forecast to achieve a solid increase in deliveries to customers. As in 2018, the segment EBIT margin is expected to be within the target range of 8 to 10%. In the Financial Services Segment, the BMW Group expects return on equity to be on par with last year and above our target figure of 14%.


In addition to the various negative influences described above, the fact that some positive valuation effects recorded in 2018 will not be repeated in 2019 will result in a significant decline in the Group’s financial result when compared with the previous year. Group profit before tax is therefore also expected to be significantly below the previous year's level.


Forecasts made for the current year are based on the assumption that worldwide economic and political conditions will not change significantly. However, any deterioration in conditions could have a negative impact on the outlook. The BMW Group will vigorously continue to implement key measures for growth on the one hand and improved performance and efficiency on the other, thereby creating sufficient headroom to enable it to help shape the future and secure its own competitiveness going forward. Its operational and financial strength place the BMW Group in an excellent position to play a key role in shaping the ongoing transformation of the automotive sector and enhance its leading role in the automotive industry.            


Marco Di Gregorio- photos BMW


01.08.2019 / MaP

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