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New emissions tests push BMW into profit warning

FRANKFURT AM MAIN: German high-end carmaker BMW said Tuesday that new stricter emissions tests for cars as well as refits to older vehicles and global trade tensions would leave revenues and profits short of its full-year forecast.

“The industry-wide shift to the new WLTP test cycle has… led to significant supply distortions in several European markets” and unexpectedly “intense competition”, the Munich-based group said in a statement.

Tougher new regulations came into force this month, a reaction by authorities to Volkswagen’s long-running “dieselgate” scandal in which the world’s largest carmaker admitted to cheating emissions tests on millions of vehicles worldwide.

Read More: EU targets BMW, Daimler, VW on Dieselgate anniversary

As well as the effects of “continuing international trade conflicts”, BMW also highlighted “increased goodwill and warranty measures” weighing on its performance.

The group was forced to recall some 324,000 diesel-powered cars across Europe in August, citing risk of a fire in the motor, as well as around 8,000 vehicles fitted with software that reduced emissions during regulatory tests.

For 2018, BMW now forecasts revenues from its car business “slightly lower” than last year, rather than the “slight” increase previously expected.

In the same segment, its operating profit margin should reach “at least seven percent” rather than the eight to 10 percent it had targeted.

And group-wide profit before tax “is expected to show a moderate decrease” year-on-year, rather than staying around last year’s level of 10.7 billion euros ($12.6 billion).

Around 1:45 pm in Frankfurt (1145 GMT), BMW shares had shed 3.9 percent to trade at 80.25 euros, against a DAX index of blue-chip German shares up 0.2 percent.

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