By Jason Theodorou

German car manufacturer BMW has reported an increase in profits, due to a recovery in global markets and healthy demand in China driving a strong increase in profits. The firm made 834 million euros (£692.8 million) between the months of April and June, an increase from the 121 million euros which it made one year ago. It was also above market expectations.

The results impressed investors, with the firm's share price pushed up to 3.4% during morning trading.

BMW chief executive Norbert Reithofer said in a statement: 'We are aiming to achieve significantly higher group earnings in 2010 than in 2009'. He said that BMW was committed to increasing full-year sales by around 10%, equivalent to 1.4 million vehicles.

The number of BMW and Rolls-Royce cars sold rose by around 12.5% in the quarter, including a 3.6% growth in Europe and a 5.6% rise in the US. The biggest growth was seen in Asia, where sales were driven up by 59.4%.

Mr. Reithofer said that 'sharp sales volume growth on major market,s and a high-value model mix are the main reasons for the strong second-quarter performance... it is important to emphasize that we are not solely relying on China'. He said that improved economic conditions have allowed BMW to charge more for cars, adding to profits.

BMW's total workforce stood at 95,502 at the end of the second quarter, a decrease of 2.8% from a year previously. The company said that it would recruit around 1,000 new employees this year, with around half of them based in Germany in research and sales positions.

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