The above slide from Dr. Helmut Panke's presentation Wednesday to the BMW Annual Accounts press conference really says it all - BMW is expecting a very good year in 2006.

BMW's chief executive dusted off the company crystal ball to predict record unit sales and record pre-tax profits of about $4.8 billion for 2006. Investors liked what they heard, boosting the company's stock price on the German DAX to its highest level in four years.

Although part of the profit boost comes from the one-off gain from sales of shares in aircraft engine maker Rolls Royce, the results will be primarily driven by strong sales, coupled with diminishing effects of a strong euro and moderating raw materials costs.

[Sources: BMW, Reuters]

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