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Mercedes-Benz Cars forecasts higher earnings this quarter

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Mercedes-Benz Cars forecasts higher earnings this quarter

Automotive News Europe -- May 28, 2010 09:45 CET

(Bloomberg) -- Daimler AG said the Mercedes-Benz unit's operating profit in the current quarter will rise as demand increases.

Mercedes-Benz Cars' earnings before interest and taxes in the second quarter will exceed the 806 million euros ($996 million) reported for the first quarter, CEO Dieter Zetsche said in a statement today. Full-year Ebit will be at the “upper end” of the carmaker's forecast of 2.5 billion euros to 3 billion euros.

Daimler, the world's second-largest luxury carmaker, is seeking to close the gap with luxury leader BMW AG and fend off Volkswagen AG's Audi.

The Mercedes-Benz maker aims to gain market share this year by introducing an extended version of its full-size E-class sedan, its first vehicle targeted exclusively for the fast-growing Chinese market. Deliveries of Mercedes vehicles in China more than doubled in the first quarter.

Daimler will reach its goal of 10 percent return on sales at Mercedes-Benz in the second half of 2012 and maintain that level for the full-year as of 2013 as the global economy recovers, the carmaker said.

“Mercedes-Benz Cars' second-quarter production output of well over 300,000 vehicles will be close to the volumes achieved before the start of the financial and economic crisis,” Daimler said.

The division has “significant advantages” including a better mix of products and pricing that may lead to a higher return on sales in the second quarter than in the first as well, the carmaker said.

Read more: http://www.autonews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20100528/ANE/100529844/1286#ixzz0pEcXsf5F

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