German luxury carmaker BMW says its third-quarter operating profit rose 17 percent, ahead of forecasts. As Axel Threlfall reports surging demand for sports utility vehicles like its X5 model helped by cheap fuel prices more than offset slow electric car sales.
BMW beats, Q3 operating profit up 17 percent as cheaper fuel prompted drivers to snap up sports utilities like the X5, those bigger gas guzzlers, and that more than offset slower electric car sales. Analysts liked the numbers and the outlook for the full year. SUV strength helping margins rise above those at rivals Mercedes and Audi, but that optimism wasn't reflected in the share price. Ahead of the open BMW was indicated up over one percent, but those gains didn't materialise. In fact it fell back 1.5 percent at the start. It has reclaimed some of that, down about seven tenths an hour after the start of trade. This is where we are year to date, as you can see it's been a rocky road year to date 2014. Could be continued concerns over the macro picture, or slightly stronger delivery growth numbers from rivals. It could also be a focus on the sales slump at the Mini brand and lower sales of the ageing 3-series. Nevertheless a strong quarter with sales of new sportscars up in all regions.