FRANKFURT, Germany - Automaker BMW AG said Wednesday its 2007 sales soared more than 14 per cent as buyers flocked to its mix of BMW sedans, sporty Mini and luxury Rolls-Royce cars and said it's on track for higher sales this year.
The Munich-based automaker, which is the top seller among premium car manufacturers, said sales rose to 56 billion euros (US$82.73 billion) compared with 48.9 billion euros in 2006, beating the 55 million euros that analysts in a poll had expected.
The bulk of the increase came from its automobile segment, which rose 13 per cent to 53.8 billion euros ($79.48 billion), compared with 47.7 billion euros a year earlier. Sales of its motorcycles decreased by nearly three per cent.
The company did not break down its sales figures for the fourth quarter.
"We expect a new record sales volume figure in 2008, with stronger growth in the first half of the year and more moderate growth in the second," CEO Norbert Reithofer said.
Shares of BMW were up more than 1.9 per cent to 38.16 euros ($56.37) after the results were announced.
By brand, the company's BMW sales rose to nearly 1.3 million cars, compared with nearly 1.2 million in 2006, in part because of demand for its 3-Series, which features touring, coupe and cabriolet versions, the 7-Series and Z4 sports cars.
The company's Mini unit saw sales rise by 18.5 per cent to 222,875 cars sold, compared with 188,077 in 2006.
BMW said the United States remained its single biggest market for its BMW and Mini cars, with combined sales up 7.1 per cent to 335,840 in 2007. Its home market, Germany, was second, with 284,523 cars sold last year.
The company's ultra-luxury Rolls-Royce brand reported a sales increase of 25.5 per cent with 1,010 cars sold compared to 805 in 2006. It was the first time that Rolls-Royce sales reached the four-digit range.
BMW said its motorcycle sales increased by 2.4 per cent to 102,467 sold, but revenue on those sales slipped 2.9 per cent to 1.22 billion euros ($1.8 billion) from 1.26 billion euros.