BERLIN (Reuters) -- The head of Germany's BMW said on Monday the car maker's second quarter earnings would not surprise analysts and that the group was partly protected against a strong euro for 2004 and 2005.
"We don't expect what we say on Thursday to come as a surprise to analysts," BMW Chief Executive Helmut Panke told reporters in Berlin.
The Munich-based group is expected to post a 17 percent drop in pre-tax profit to 848 million euros ($959 million) when it reports on the second quarter on Thursday, according to a Reuters poll of 25 analysts.
Falling sales of its core luxury brand, in particular its outgoing 5-series saloon which is being replaced, combined with the costs of a massive new product launch have been putting pressure on BMW's traditionally roaring profits.
Its pre-tax profit in the first quarter fell 18 percent to 830 million euros, and BMW management, whose guidance is often seen as conservative by the market, said then the fall in the second quarter would be of a similar magnitude.
Panke also said the group was partly protected against a strong euro for 2004 and 2005. BMW is fully hedged against dollar weakness for 2003 and has in the past said two thirds of its exposure was hedged for 2004.