BMW (BAMXY)   skirted the curse of luxury brands in the first quarter, announcing a 6% increase in BMW unit sales as net profit grew by 8.2% to €1.6 billion ($1.9 billion).

But a warning of a tough economic environment and uncertainty in China, Europe and the U.S. sent the shares down 3% in trading in Frankfurt.

The carmaker, which is marking its centenary this year, is forecasting slight increases in sales volume and group profit before tax this year and said it was confident that it would hit that target.

However, consumer appetite for luxury cars could come under pressure: CFO Friedrich Eichiner warned that political and economic headwinds could stifle growth.

In the first quarter sales in China improved and U.S. sales of sports utility vehicles increased, in part due to low oil prices. 

Group revenue, however, was down 0.3% to €20.9 billion. The company attributed the loss to unfavorable currency factors.

 

In March, the company announced a strategy focused on electronic vehicles and new technology to head off competition from the likes of ride-sharing service Uber.

Last month, Daimler (DDAIY) , the maker of Mercedes-Benz, announced that first-quarter earnings had fallen 8.5% to  €2.7 billion, on a decrease in sales of Mercedes S- and E-class models.