Record sales, record revenues, record profits – 2016 was another great year for BMW shareholders. Safe to say Chief Executive Harald Krüger can expect a warm reception at Thursday’s annual general meeting.
There’s plenty to celebrate: Strong financial results and lower tax liabilities mean net profit, at €6.9 billion, was the best in company history, up 8 percent on 2015. That has allowed the carmaker to increase dividends on preference shares by €0.30 to €3.52, with BMW paying out a total of €2.3 billion to shareholders, cementing its reputation as a reliable dividend stock. Almost half of that figure went to siblings Susanne Klatten and Stefan Quandt, who own around 47 percent of the firm between them.
And yet, Mr. Krüger knows that 2016 was a strangely muted year for the Munich-based carmaker. BMW may have sold 5.3 percent more cars than the previous year, but arch-rival Mercedes sold even more. Operating profit was very healthy, with earnings before interest and taxes hitting €9.3 billion, around $10.1 billion. But this was 2 percentage points down on 2015. Revenue hit a record too, but was up by a rather meager 2.2 percent.