Net profit at Daimler AG increased to a record 1.7 Euro for the second quarter, the company reports.
"Daimler developed very dynamically in the second quarter in terms of unit sales, revenue and earnings," stated Dr. Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars. "The very good earnings trend is primarily a reflection of increased vehicle shipments by nearly all divisions. Mercedes-Benz Cars actually recorded its strongest-ever volumes and highest-ever quarterly EBIT," Zetsche pointed out.
Daimler Trucks and Mercedes-Benz Vans were also able to significantly increase their unit sales compared with the prior-year quarter in all major regions.
Zetsche: "With our excellent first half of the year, we are fully on schedule to turn 2011 into one of the most successful years in our long corporate history. We now assume that Group EBIT will develop more positively than we previously expected and will very significantly exceed the level of 2010."
Daimler Trucks increased its unit sales by 9% to 91,500 vehicles vs. 83,800 last year and achieved revenue growth of 14% to EUR 6.6 billion (Q2 2010: EUR 5.9 billion).
The division posted EBIT of EUR 474 million (Q2 2010: EUR 300 million) and a return on sales of 7.1% (Q2 2010: 5.1%). The rise in earnings is primarily due to a renewed significant increase in unit sales in Europe and the United States. There was an opposing, negative impact on second-quarter earnings from increased material costs and high advance expenditure for the current product offensive. Earnings at Trucks Asia were reduced by decreases in unit sales and revenue (minus 32% and minus 24% respectively), mainly caused by the natural disaster in Japan.
Unit sales by Mercedes-Benz Vans increased by 14% to 68,000 vehicles (Q2 2010: 59,400). Revenue of EUR 2.2 billion was also significantly higher than in the prior-year quarter (Q2 2010: EUR 2.0 billion).
The division posted EBIT of EUR 206 million (Q2 2010: EUR 127 million) and its return on sales improved to 9.2% from 6.4% in the prior-year quarter. The main factors behind this development were the ongoing market recovery and significant growth in unit sales, especially in Germany and the United States. The excellent market reception for the new-generation Vito and Viano models made a major contribution. Earnings were also positively affected by sustained efficiency improvements and better pricing. On the other hand, the division's EBIT was negatively affected by higher material costs.
In light of the better than anticipated performance in the first half of 2011 and the currently good market demand, the Daimler Group now targets EBIT from the ongoing business in 2011 that will be better than previously expected and will very significantly exceed the level of 2010. Developments in the first two quarters have shown that the Group continues to make good progress towards the targeted rates of return to be achieved on a sustained basis as of the year 2013. Those targeted rates of return include 8% for Daimler Trucks and 9% for Mercedes-Benz Vans.
Total unit sales will also increase significantly (2010: 1.9 million vehicles). Daimler assumes that unit sales in the third and fourth quarters of this year will be higher than in the respective prior-year quarters for all divisions.
Daimler Trucks will post strong growth in unit sales compared with 2010. Due to the economic upswing, the division anticipates encouraging growth rates in most of its core markets. In Western Europe, it will profit from the rapid market growth and will continue to occupy the leading position in the medium and heavy-duty segments. And it is also the market leader in Classes 6 to 8 of the dynamically expanding truck market in the NAFTA region.
The aftereffects of the earthquake are still having an impact on unit sales in Japan, although Trucks Asia otherwise has high levels of orders received. It anticipates a stabilization of this region's market in the second half of the year. The division will further improve its position in other parts of Asia, especially China, and in other emerging markets with high growth rates.
Projections are supported by current incoming orders: In the first half of 2011, Daimler Trucks received orders for 240,200 trucks. This is the highest volume since record year 2006 and 42% more than in the prior-year period. Unit sales in the second half of 2011 are therefore expected to surpass the unit sales posted in the first half of the year.
Due to the ongoing market recovery, Mercedes-Benz Vans also expects to achieve growth in unit sales in its key markets in full-year 2011. In Western Europe, the division will defend its leading market position for medium-sized and large vans and will participate in the market's growth. Significant increases in unit sales are expected particularly in the United States and China – also due to the launch of the new Sprinter. Increased production capacities in Argentina will also boost growth.