BMW and VW celebrate strong sales

Two German car giants unveiled soaring sales and profits on Thursday. BMW said it achieved record earnings while Volkswagen hopes to sell a record 10 million vehicles this year.

This year and next year, VW - with a wide range of brands including Volkswagen, Audi, SEAT, Skoda, Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini, Porsche, Scania and MAN - would launch more than 100 new models, successors and product enhancements, he added. In 2013, worldwide deliveries rose by 4.9 percent to 9.7 million vehicles. Revenues were up 2.2 percent at €197 billion and operating profit reached a record €11.7 billion.

BMW chief executive Norbert Reithofer said: "With its fourth straight record year, the BMW group's strong performance continued during the past year despite a challenging economic environment worldwide." He said BMW's net profit rose by 4.5 percent to €5.34 billion in 2013. Pre-tax profit was up 1.4 percent at €7.913 billion.

Revenues slipped by one percent, but unit sales jumped by 6.4 percent to a record 1.964 million vehicles, with all three brands - BMW, Mini and Rolls-Royce - "registering all-time highs,” Reithofer said.

BMW said it would increase its dividend payment so as to “share its success with shareholders”.