BMW outperformed expectations by posting a near 14 per cent rise in third quarter profits, in large part due to strong sales from China.

Sales in the country, which is holding its 18th party congress this month, were up by a third in the nine months to the end of September, beating analyst forecasts of €1.72bn to record pre-tax earnings of €2bn.

Overall sales from the German car firm, that contains brands such as Mini and Rolls Royce, were up nine per cent to around 430,000 for the three months up until September.

The world's largest premium carmaker has said they expect further sales growth in the fourth quarter, and that they are confident of making their full year targets.