BMW aims for new sales, profit records this year

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) -- Germany's luxury carmaker BMW predicted Wednesday that underlying earnings this year will easily outstrip last year's.

In a speech at the carmaker's home base in Munich, CEO Norbert Reithofer said that the company would sell more than 2 million vehicles, up from last year's 1.96 million.

He also said the company is aiming for pretax profits "significantly above" last year's 7.9 billion euros ($11 billion). Its pretax earnings in 2013 were more or less flat compared with the previous year.

Reithofer said the company was looking at expanding production capacity in the United States. Last year it built 300,000 vehicles at its plant in Spartanburg, South Carolina.

In 2013 BMW saw net profit rise 4.5 percent to 5.34 billion euros. Sales fell 1 percent to 76.1 billion, largely due to a stronger euro that shrinks earnings in other currencies when they are restated in euros.

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