FRANKFURT— BMW AG BMW.XE -0.21% has reported an unexpectedly big jump in net profit in the second quarter as the world's largest maker of premium cars benefited from continued strong demand in China as well as buoyant sales of its bigger, high-price models.

The German auto maker said net profit rose 27% to €1.77 billion ($2.37 billion) on a 1.8% rise in revenue to €19.91 billion.

Sales of BMW 5-series sedans and the X5 sports-utility vehicles as well as Rolls-Royce limousines offset the impact of the euro's strength against foreign currencies in the period.

They also improved the group's profitability despite BMW's significant investment in new factories, models and an increase in the size of its workforce as Germany's luxury car makers race to keep up with demand in North America and many emerging markets.

BMW's earnings before interest and taxes, which include profit contributions from joint ventures in China, rose 26% to €2.60 billion, ahead of the average analysts' forecast for just €2.27 billion.

The group's profitability also benefited from a decline in sales at BMW's Mini unit, the maker of smaller, lower-margin cars which is in the middle of revamping its lineup.

The operating profit margin at BMW's automotive business rose to 11.7% in the quarter from 9.6% in the same period a year ago, putting the Munich-based manufacturer ahead of its German rivals.

Audi, Volkswagen AG's biggest-selling luxury brand, turned in a 10% operating profit margin in the first six months of the year with Daimler AG's Mercedes-Benz reporting a second-quarter margin of 7.9%.

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BMW's Q2 2014 Net Profit Surges 27% - Unexpected Rise Sees Operating Profit Margin Rise to 11.7%

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