Daimler defies economic downturn

(L to R) Daimler Trucks boss Andreas Renschler, Daimler chairman Dr Dieter Zetsche and Bodo Uebber, head of Daimler Financial Services.

Flying in the face of current economic woes beseiging much of Europe and other parts of the world, Daimler AG has announced a record net profit for 2011 of €6.0 billion, eclipsing its 2010 result by €1.3 billion.  

“In 2011 Daimler Group achieved the best-ever results in its 125 year history for unit sales, revenue, EBIT (earnings before interest and taxes) and net profit,’ stated Dr. Dieter Zetsche, chairman of Daimler AG.

“In total, we made the anniversary year also into a year of success for Daimler. This performance shows that with its strong portfolio of cars, trucks, vans, buses and financial services, the Group is strategically very well positioned. We are now putting all our efforts into continuing this success and achieving our targeted rates of return on a sustained basis as of the year 2013,” emphasised Zetsche.

The excellent earnings for the year 2011 primarily reflect the very good situation of unit sales in the divisions. In 2011, Mercedes-Benz Cars, Daimler Trucks and Mercedes-Benz Vans significantly increased their unit sales compared with the prior year in the major regions. Daimler Financial Services profited in particular from the lower cost of risk.

Special factors connected with the natural disaster in Japan resulted in total charges for the Group of €80 million. Insurance compensation has been taken into consideration in calculating this figure. Charges were also recognised from the impairment of Daimler’s equity interests in Renault (€110 million) and Kamaz (€32 million).

Daimler sold a total of 2.1 million vehicles in 2011, surpassing the prior-year figure by 11 percent, and each of its automotive divisions contributed to the increase. Group revenue rose by nine percent to €106.5 billion; adjusted for exchange-rate effects, this denotes a rise of 10 percent.

The net liquidity of the company’s industrial business amounted to €12 billion at December 31, 2011, up from €11.9 billion in 2010.

The generally positive business development led to an increase in the number of people employed worldwide to 271,370 as of December 31. This was 11,270 more than at the end of 2010. In Germany, the number of employees increased to 167,684, up from 164,026 in 2010.

Due to Daimler’s success in 2011, the Board of Management and the General Works Council have agreed that the workforce’s performance will again be rewarded with a high performance participation bonus. In Germany, each eligible employee of Daimler AG will receive an amount of €4100 at the end of April 2012.

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