March 14, 2007
pay a dividend of euro 0.70 for each share of common stock (2005: euro 0.64) - an increase of 9.4% over the previous year - and euro 0.72 for each share of preferred stock (2005: euro 0.66) - an increase of 9.1% over the previous year. Including the share buy-back, BMW AG's shareholders will therefore participate in the success of the BMW Group by receiving an aggregate amount in excess of euro 700 million.
New authorisation for share buy-back to be proposed
The Board of Management and the Supervisory Board of BMW AG will propose a resolution at the Annual General Meeting to authorise the buy-back of up to 10% of the Company's share capital. The authorisation, if resolved, will again be valid for a period of 18 months. The buy-back authorisation passed in the previous year is valid until 15 November 2007. It has not yet been decided whether or to what extent that authorisation will be applied to buy back further shares.
Automobile segment earnings up despite adverse currency effects
The profit before taxes of the Automobile segment for the financial year 2006 improved by 1.2% to euro 3,012 million (2005: euro 2,976 million) despite the adverse currency effects and high raw material prices referred to above. Segment revenues increased by 4.2% to euro 47,767 million (2005: euro 45,861 million), growing at a slightly faster pace than sales volume. The total number of BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce brand vehicles delivered to customers in 2006 increased by 3.5% to 1,373,970 units (2005: 1,327,992 units).
BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce brands each at the top of their respective segments in 2006
All three brands - BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce - headed the market in their own segments in 2006. The number of BMW brand cars sold increased by 5.2% to 1,185,088 units (2005: 1,126,768) units. Sales of the BMW 1 Series rose by 1.6% to 151,918 units. The BMW Group's best-selling car, with 508,479 units sold, was the 3 Series, registering a sharp rise of 17.1%. The sales volume of the 5 Series grew by 1.7% to 232,193 units. The number of 6 Series vehicles sold was down by 6% to 21,947 units. In the luxury class, the sales volume of the 7 Series edged up by 0.3% to 50,227 units. The X3 again recorded strong growth, with the number of Sports Activity Vehicles increasing by 3.0% to 114,000 units.
The sales volume of X5 was down by 25.8% to 75,321 vehicles due to model-life cycle factors. The second generation of this successful model became available in the USA in November 2006, and after coming onto the markets in Europe in March, should generate a sharp sales volume increase. With its new and revised models, the Z4 also registered growth in 2006, with the sales volume advancing by 7.5% to 30,981 units.
Restricted availability caused by capacity extension measures at the Oxford plant meant that the sales volume of the MINI decreased by 6.2% to 188,077 units (2005: 200,428 units). The MINI brand continues to generate a very high-value product mix. Including the convertible versions, almost 44% of customers opted for the MINI Cooper. More than 30% purchased the MINI model with the most powerful engine (the MINI Cooper S) and almost 26% opted for the MINI One.
The second generation of the MINI was launched on the European markets on 18 November 2006. The sales volume of the MINI should pick up sharply in the current year and exceed the previous high level registered in 2005. Rolls-Royce Motor Cars recorded a small increase in sales volume, with 805 Phantom sold in 2006 (2005: 796 units /+1.1%). Since the Rolls-Royce marque was launched in 2003 within the BMW Group, it has succeeded in increasing sales volume for the third time in succession. The Rolls-Royce model range continues to expand, the latest addition being the two-door Phantom Drophead Coupé presented at the Detroit Motor Show. Production of this vehicle is planned to start at the Goodwood plant in summer 2007.
Motorcycle business continues to perform well
The Motorcycle segment's earnings performance again made good progress in 2006, primarily on the back of sales volume growth and efficiency improvements. The segment profit before tax increased by 10.0% to euro 66 million (2005: euro 60 million). Thanks to the on-going product initiative, segment revenues increased by 3.4% to euro 1,265 million (2005: euro 1,223 million). For the first time, the annual sales volume figure surpassed the 100,000 mark, rising by 2.7% to reach 100,064 units (2005: 97,474 units).
Financial Services still on growth course
The Financial Services segment continued to improve earnings in 2006. At euro 685 million, the segment's pre-tax profit rose by 13.2% (2005: euro 605 million) despite the higher level of refinancing costs. Revenues grew by 17.8% to euro 11,079 million (2005: euro 9,408 million). At the year-end, 2,270,528 lease and financing contracts were in place with dealers and retail customers, representing an increase of 8.8%. The proportion of new BMW and MINI cars financed by the Financial Services segment increased to 42.4% (2005: 41.1%).
Capital expenditure increased
In 2006, the BMW Group invested primarily in the further expansion of its production and sales networks. Capital expenditure was increased by 8.0% to euro 4,313 million (2005: euro 3,993 million). As a result of the higher level of up-front expenditure for new models, capitalised development costs recognised as assets in accordance with IFRS went up by 10.0% to euro 1,536 million (2005: euro 1,396 million). Capital expenditure for property, plant and equipment and other intangible assets increased by 6.9% to euro 2,777 million (2005: euro 2,597 million), partly in connection with the expansion of the production network.
The capital expenditure ratio (i.e. the ratio of capital expenditure to group revenues) increased slightly in 2006 and stood at 8.8% (2005: 8.6%).
Car production volume at all-time high
The BMW Group's car production volume was also at an all-time high in 2006. In total, 1,366,838 BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce brand cars were manufactured in 2006, up by 3.3% (2005: 1,323,119 units). The BMW brand accounted for 1,179,317 cars, representing an increase of 5.1% over the previous year. Capacity expansion measures at the Oxford plant resulted in the number of manufactured MINI brand vehicles falling by 6.7% to 186,674 units. In addition, 847 Rolls-Royce Phantom left the Rolls-Royce plant in Goodwood, 22.4% more than one year earlier.
Car sales volumes above previous year's level in virtually all markets
The USA continued to be the market with the largest sales volume for the BMW Group, with a total of 313,921 cars sold in the past year, up by 2.1% on a year-on-year basis. A total of 816,829 cars was sold in Europe, 1.7% more than in the previous year. Germany remained, by far, the most important European market. However, due partly to the restricted availability of the MINI, the sales volume on this market was down by 2.8% to 287,715 vehicles. The BMW Group recorded its largest growth rates in Asia. In total, the sales volume there rose by 13.0% to 142,084 units. Japan is the largest single market for the BMW Group in this region, with the number of cars handed over to customers up by 5.6% to 62,115 units.
Workforce marginally higher than in the previous year
The number of employees increased slightly during the past year. At the end of 2006, the worldwide workforce comprised 106,575 employees, an increase of 0.7% (31 December 2005: 105,798 employees). Approximately 75% of the workforce is employed in Germany, where the number of employees remained practically unchanged.
(March 14, 2007)