Daimler Q3 profit plunges 74 percent

Daimler said on Tuesday that its third quarter net profit plunged 74 percent from a year earlier, but the German auto giant stressed that it had managed to negotiate the global crisis in the sector.

Daimler Q3 profit plunges 74 percent
Golden times ahead for Daimler? Photo: DPA

Daimler’s profit fell to €56 million ($83 million), but nonetheless remained in positive territory.

The maker of Mercedes-Benz automobiles said it should also post a profit in

the last three months of the year.

“Over recent months we have increasingly overcome the crisis,” Daimler boss Dieter Zetsche said in a statement. “Daimler was able to maintain its financial flexibility, intensify measures to improve efficiency and simultaneously drive the development of new products and markets.”

Third quarter sales lost 21 percent to €19.3 million, Daimler said, confirming provisional figures released last week. Core earnings fell to €470 million from €648 million in the third quarter of 2008 but showed a strong gain from earlier this year.

Earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) had posted a loss of €1 billion in the second quarter of 2009 and a loss of €1.4 billion in the first three months of the year.

“After returning to profitability in the third quarter of 2009, Daimler anticipates positive EBIT from its ongoing business also in the fourth quarter,” the statement said.

A total of 386,461 vehicles were delivered in the third quarter, a year-on-year decrease of 26 percent, with a particularly sharp drop of 46 percent in the number of heavy trucks sold. Compared with the previous quarter however, the overall fall in the number of vehicles sold was limited to just one percent.

The company released provisional figures last week that were better than expected by analysts, including a return by Mercedes Benz to profit. Mercedes’ results should improve slightly again in the fourth quarter, the company said on Tuesday.

It has also decided to increase the size of a cost-cutting plan that was initially set at €4 billion, without providing details.

For the full year, Daimler “anticipates significant decreases in unit sales and revenue,” the statement said.

Looking ahead, 2010 “will remain challenging due to the still-difficult situation of automobile markets worldwide,” it added.

Daimler stressed however that it “has a sound financial position, which should remain stable also during the fourth quarter.”

It intended to go to capital markets “only to a slight extent during the rest of this year” in a bid to alleviate concern over the group’s financial footing.

Daimler shares showed a loss of 1.06 percent to €35.45 in midday trading, while Frankfurt’s DAX index of leading shares was 0.32 percent higher overall.

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.


Four injured as WWII bomb explodes near Munich train station

Four people were injured, one of them seriously, when a World War II bomb exploded at a building site near Munich's main train station on Wednesday, emergency services said.

Smoke rises after the WWII bomb exploded on a building site in Munich.
Smoke rises after the WWII bomb exploded on a building site in Munich. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Privat

Construction workers had been drilling into the ground when the bomb exploded, a spokesman for the fire department said in a statement.

The blast was heard several kilometres away and scattered debris hundreds of metres, according to local media reports.

Images showed a plume of smoke rising directly next to the train tracks.

Bavaria interior minister Joachim Herrmann told Bild that the whole area was being searched.

Deutsche Bahn suspended its services on the affected lines in the afternoon.

Although trains started up again from 3pm, the rail operator said there would still be delays and cancellations to long-distance and local travel in the Munich area until evening. 

According to the fire service, the explosion happened near a bridge that must be passed by all trains travelling to or from the station.

The exact cause of the explosion is unclear, police said. So far, there are no indications of a criminal act.

WWII bombs are common in Germany

Some 75 years after the war, Germany remains littered with unexploded ordnance, often uncovered during construction work.

READ ALSO: What you need to know about WWII bomb disposals in Germany

However, most bombs are defused by experts before they explode.

Last year, seven World War II bombs were found on the future location of Tesla’s first European factory, just outside Berlin.

Sizeable bombs were also defused in Cologne and Dortmund last year.

In 2017, the discovery of a 1.4-tonne bomb in Frankfurt prompted the evacuation of 65,000 people — the largest such operation since the end of the war in Europe in 1945.