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Monster cartel charge puts brakes on BMW revenue



FRANKFURT – German high end carmaker BMW on Tuesday reported a profit in the first quarter when it booked a $ 1.4 billion ($ 1.6 billion) cost related to an EU cartel probe.

Net profit by the group nosedived 74.2 percent from year to year, to 588 million euros, BMW said in a statement.

Brussels's claim that the BMW collaborated with Daimler and Volkswagen to avoid competing for emission control technology means that it is likely that the EU Commission will provide a significant fine, says the Munich-based manufacturer.

BMW already warned investors when details of the probe were published last month, it had to spend at least one billion euros.

But the firm said the competition authorities are trying "to equate the allowed coordination of industrial positions with the regulations with illegal cartel agreements".

"If necessary, BMW will fight the European Commission's claims with all the legal means at its disposal."

At the top of the provision, the group increased its R&D and investment also earnings, while revenue fell 0.9 percent to 22.5 billion euros.

Nevertheless, "in operational terms, we remain firm on courses", says CEO Harald Krueger sai dd, adding that a wave of new models coming in the second half of the year will lift the business.

Without the effect of the provision, BMW achieved an operating margin of 5.6 percent, lower than in the first three months of 201

8. [19659002] The Group confirmed its goals for the rest of the year, with a view to a "small increase" in unit sales, but points to continued cost increases and protectionist threats that undermine earnings.

Profit before tax is expected to be well below last year's level, "BMW said and followed up by 8.1 percent fall in 2018.

© Agence France-Presse


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