BMW’s profits have been boosted once more with its British brands MINI and Rolls-Royce making a healthy contribution to the coffers.
The MINI brand has been going great guns all over the globe with a sales increase during 2003 of 22.4 per cent to 176,000 cars while in its first year of operation under BMW management, 300 Rolls-Royce models were delivered from the factory in Goodwood.
BMW boss Helmut Panke told the company’s annual accounts news conference in Munich: "The positive development of the MINI brand proves that customers appreciate high standards and that this is not a question of size.
"Response to the Rolls-Royce has also been very positive both from traditional and new customers. We expect Rolls-Royce to grow significantly this year."
BMW Group reported a net profit of €1.9 billion and finance chief Stefan Krause said that the company was committed to the UK, where it also builds engines as well as cars, and has significant finance business, despite it being outside the Euro currency zone.
He added: "At the moment we have a more significant problem with the weakness of the US dollar – we also build vehicles there. But that is the point of having factories all over the world and in markets where we sell in significant numbers – while one market is down another is up.
"The Group has been pursuing a long term currency hedging strategy for more than 10 years to efficiently manage foreign exchange factors."
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