BERLIN, Nov. 7 (Xinhua) -- German auto maker BMW witnessed a steep fall in its corporate profits during the third quarter (Q3) of 2018, earnings figures published on Wednesday by the company show.
BMW's gross revenue grew by 4.7 percent to 24.73 billion euros (28.43 billion U.S. dollars) between July and September compared to the same period last year, while vehicle deliveries held steady at 592,303 units (plus 0.3 percent).
However, the Munich-based company's earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) and net profits were both significantly lower than in Q3 2017 at 1.75 billion euros (minus 26.8 percent) and 1.846 billion euros (minus 23.9 percent) respectively.
BMW blamed the weak financial performance on several external factors which had weighed on its earnings in Q3, saying the industry-wide transition to the Worldwide harmonized Light vehicles Test Procedure (WLTP) in the Europe had led to "significant price distortions and an unexpectedly high intensity of competition."
Market pressures and uncertainty created by "lasting international trade conflicts" were also cited as having had a greater than expected impact on demand and price-related pressures in several automotive markets.
In spite of the slump in profits between July and September, BMW confirmed its wider earnings outlook for 2018. The carmaker is still targeting revenue and pre-tax profits which are only slightly below last year's level and an EBIT margin of at least 7 percent.
BMW has recently signed a long-term contract with Chinese Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Limited (CATL) for the delivery of battery cells with a total value of 4 billion euros. The German automotive producer plans to offer five fully-electric vehicles (BMW i3, MINI Electric, BMW iX3, BMW i4, BMW iNEXT) to customers as part of its portfolio by 2021.