FRANKFURT -- Luxury car maker BMW (IW 1000/37) said Tuesday it is confident of meeting its full-year forecasts after business developed favorably in the third quarter. "After a good third quarter, we are well on course to achieve our targets for the full year," said chief executive Norbert Reithofer.

In the three months to September, net profit rose by 3.2% to 1.33 billion euros (US$1.8 billion).

But underlying or operating profit fell by 3.7% to 1.928 billion euros as a result of "increased personnel costs and growing competition."

Revenues were more or less unchanged, slipping 0.4% to 18.75 billion euros.

"Figures for both the third quarter and the nine-month period have developed positively despite the higher level of expenditure on new technologies and a challenging market environment in Europe," CEO Reithofer said.

"We have recorded best-ever worldwide sales volume figures to date," he boasted.

"Based on our strong performance in the first nine months of the year, we reaffirm our outlook for the current year," Reithofer continued.

"We're continuing to target sales volume growth in the single-digit percentage range and hence a new sales volume record.

"Due to high levels of expenditure for new technologies and models as well as investment in the production network, profit before tax for 2013 should be on a similar level with the previous year," Reithofer added.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2013