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BMW records first quarterly loss since 2009 on virus impact

BMW records first quarterly loss since 2009 on virus impact

BMW shares have lost more than a fifth this year

BMW AG’s loss-making automotive division dragged the company into the red for the first time in more than a decade, rounding out a dismal quarter for European carmakers hit by the coronavirus pandemic.

The German manufacturer lost EUR666m ($787m) before interest and taxes between April and June, its first quarterly deficit since the financial crisis in 2009.

BMW’s auto business, which recorded a bigger-than-expected Ebit loss, was mainly to blame after deliveries tanked due to pandemic-related shutdowns of dealerships and factories, the company said Wednesday in a statement.

BMW is the final German manufacturer to report after what has been a difficult quarter for carmakers. VW lost EUR2.4bn and cut its dividend, while Daimler AG argued it had weathered the worst but still needs to slash tens of thousands of jobs.

Renault SA’s alliance with Nissan Motor Co. came under strain as the Japanese partner was mostly to blame for the French carmaker’s record $8.6bn loss.

BMW fell as much as 4.4 per cent in early Frankfurt trading. The shares have lost more than a fifth this year.

A bright spot for BMW came from China, which started to recover from April and registered volume growth during the three months through June compared to the year earlier-period. BMW will start producing the iX3 electric car in China this year, where it will also be first sold to customers.

Deliveries of electric and hybrid cars rose in the quarter as countries including Germany and France raised subsidies for the vehicles. The company said it expects further growth from that sector in the second half of the year.

Despite the loss, BMW stuck to a prediction for an automotive Ebit margin of between 0 per cent and 3 per cent, after lowering it from 2 per cent to 4 per cent in May.

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