BERLIN (Bloomberg) -- BMW AG said profit last year surged more than 15-fold boosted by the revamped BMW 5 series and new Mini Countryman.
Net income last year surged more than 15-fold rose to 3.23 billion euros ($4.47 billion) from 210 million euros a year earlier, the Munich-based company said today in an e-mailed statement. The figure surpassed the average estimate of 2.91 billion euros from 13 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. Revenue last year rose 19 percent to 60.5 billion euros in 2010.
BMW profit was boosted by a 36 percent increase in demand for the overhauled 5-series sedan in China and the United States. The X1 compact SUV sold more than 100,000 units in its first full year, while the Countryman, the Mini brand's first four-door model, sold 14,337 units since being introduced in September.
"BMW delivered a strong set of results," said Jose Asumendi, a London-based analyst with Royal Bank of Scotland. "We now need to see BMW building off these results and profiting from its excellent product momentum."
The company proposed a record dividend of 1.30 euros per common share, more than triple the 30 cents paid the previous year.
Premium carmakers are forecasting sales gains this year on higher spending in the United States and growing wealth in China, the world's two biggest car markets. Volkswagen AG, which owns Audi, is adding extra shifts to meet demand, CEO Martin Winterkorn said today in Wolfsburg.
BMW targets record deliveries of more than 1.5 million vehicles in 2011 on demand for the second-generation X3 SUV and 6-series coupe.
BMW, whose shares have risen 79 percent in the past 12 months, declined 0.3 percent to 57.99 euros as of 11:48 CET in Frankfurt trading, valuing the carmaker at 36.9 billion euros.
The auto unit's 2010 earnings before interest and taxes was 8 percent of sales last year, compared with 8.7 percent at Daimler AG's Mercedes-Bnez unit and 9.4 percent at Volkswagen AG's Audi. The company is targeting an EBIT margin of between 8 percent and 10 percent by 2012.
BMW shed almost 800 jobs last year on early retirement, buyouts and natural attrition, the company said. BMW employs nearly 95,500 people.
The manufacturer of BMW, Mini, and Rolls-Royce vehicles is expanding its lineup to reach a goal of selling more than 2 million cars and SUVs annually by 2020.
The carmaker has created the "i" electric-car subbrand, which will start launching models in 2013 with the i3, a battery-powered city car previously known as the Megacity Vehicle. The company is also planning the i8, a plug-in hybrid supercar based on the Vision Efficient Dynamics concept.
BMW is also pushing into transport-related services and is experimenting with short-term rentals as it seeks to appeal to consumers more interested in gadgets like Apple Inc.'s iPhone than cars. The company started a $100 million venture capital unit and invested in the My City Way smartphone app.