FRANKFURT -- BMW is not worried about a potential earnings decline in 2006 due to dwindling hedging protection against currency headwinds, CEO Helmut Panke told analysts on Thursday.
Asked why the financial community would be wrong to assume profits would fall next year, Panke said: "Why should it (earnings) be down?" But he declined to make a forecast. "It can go basically again flat, it can go up," he said.
The world's biggest premium carmaker, which aims to generate roughly the same earnings this year as in 2004, has hedged more than 50 percent of its foreign exchange risk for 2005 but said it has taken smaller, "tactical" measures for next year.
"I'm not worried about '06," Panke said. "We have to match (challenges with opportunities) and always have more opportunities than challenges and this is what we have done so nicely over the years and we'll continue to do that."
The company held an analyst presentation that was broadcast via the Internet.