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Daimler sales plunge 25 percent

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Daimler sales plunge 25 percent
Photo: DPA
12:53 CEST+02:00
German auto and truck maker Daimler posted a sharp net loss in the second quarter and said it expected a clear decrease in sales globally for all 2009.

The maker of Mercedes Benz autos said it suffered a net loss of €1.06 billion on sales that plunged by one quarter to €19.6 billion but nonetheless predicted that the situation would improve gradually in the coming months.

The company delivered 31 percent fewer cars in the second quarter compared to the same period in 2008.

At a press conference, Daimler chairman Dieter Zetsche said that the company's €4 billion cost-cutting program is already delivering returns, cutting losses compared to the first quarter of 2009. But he warned that the company had more work ahead of it.

"A comparison with the very good quarter from the previous year shows though, where we've still got to do our homework," Zeitsche said.

Analysts had forecast an even bigger net loss of €1.34 billion but the results looked dismal compared with a profit of €1.4 billion posted by Daimler in the second quarter of 2008

Daimler did not give a precise figure for its projected 2009 net loss but did say in a statement that its operating profit was "expected to improve gradually in the course of the year."

The statement warned however that "from today's perspective, global demand for passenger cars will fall by approximately 15 percent compared with last year." The company also said it remained concerned about the health of its truck division, which has also been hurt by the downturn.

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