BMW joins Daimler getting boost from speedy auto-sales recovery

Richard Weiss

BMW AG said its auto business generated much more cash than expected last quarter, joining rival Daimler AG in posting surprisingly positive preliminary earnings.

Automotive free cash flow in the three months ended in September was 3.07 billion euros ($3.6 billion), the Munich-based manufacturer said in a statement Monday. That’s up from 714 million euros a year ago and exceeds market expectations.

Several markets recovered faster than anticipated, leading to sales growth, and BMW also cut costs during the quarter. Its initial results and commentary mirror the situation at Mercedes-Benz maker Daimler AG, which reported better-than-expected preliminary earnings and cash flow last week. Truckmaker Volvo Group had also posted profit that exceeded analysts’ estimates, and car sales across Europe unexpectedly rose in September for the first time this year.

BMW said its earnings forecasts remain unchanged. The company will release complete details on its third-quarter results Nov. 4.