FRANKFURT (AFP) – German luxury auto manufacturer BMW on Thursday reported an 89.5-percent slump in 2008 net profit and a loss for the fourth quarter, with the dividend to be cut by about two thirds.
Net profit for the year dropped to 330 million euros (422 million dollars). The consensus view of analysts polled by Dow Jones Newswires was for a profit of one billion euros.
The figures caused a shock on the stock market here where shares in BMW fell by 7.61 percent to 21.21 euros. The overall DAX index was showing a fall of 2.38 percent.
The results were hit by charges totalling 2.423 billion euros owing to weakness on the market for second-hand cars, losses on loans made, and extra staff costs.
In the fourth quarter, these charges caused a loss in terms of earnings before interest and tax. The group made a loss of 718 million euros in the quarter from a profit of 1.3 billion euros in the same period of 2007.
Excluding the effects of exceptional charges, the group would have made an underlying profit in the quarter of 410 million euros.
The group said that it would slash the dividend to 0.30 euros per ordinary share from 1.06 euros in 2007.