The company said its profit from ordinary activities in the first quarter of 2002 was 1,011 million Euros. The profit of 1,030 million Euros for the same period the previous year included a one-off gain of 75 million Euros from the sale of land, the manufacturer said.
Excluding this one-off gain, the comparable figure for the first quarter of 2001 was 955 million Euros, meaning this year's figure represents a 5.9% improvement.
On the outlook for 2002, chairman of the board of management professor Joachim Milberg said: 'The good start to the year reinforces our expectations that the BMW Group will be able to continue the previous year's successful performance.'
The manufacturer said providing economic conditions do not deteriorate unexpectedly, 'it 'will again be able to increase sales volumes, revenues and earnings.'
It hopes that for the first time more than one million BMW and MINI cars will be sold in 2002.
Commenting on the performance of its financing arm during the first quarter of this year, BMW said one in three new vehicles sold by the group is financed by the BMW Financial Services segment.
'A total of 340,353 financing contracts were signed between January and March 2002, an increase of 14.6% over the first quarter of 2001,' it said. '42.1% of new contracts related to customer business and 57.9% to dealer financing.'