Daimler Q3 Net Profit $2.2 Billion Tops Forecasts

Net profit for the quarter was $2.2 billion

Luxury car maker Daimler, owner of Mercedes Benz, posted on Oct. 28 a third quarter net profit that far exceeded market expectations, and substantially raised its full-year target.

Daimler said net profit for the three month period jumped to 1.6 billion euros (US$2.2 billion), dwarfing the 56 million euros it reported in the same period of 2009, when the auto industry was in a global crisis.

The group added that it was now aiming for core earnings of more than seven billion euros, compared with its previous estimate of six billion.

The net profit figure largely surpassed an average analyst forecast of 1.12 billion euros compiled by Dow Jones Newswires.

"Daimler assumes it will be able to continue along this successful path also in the fourth quarter," the company said.

The group's closely watched core earnings before interest and taxes leapt to 2.42 billion euros from 470 million in the third quarter of 2009, on a 30 percent gain in sales to 25.1 billion euros.

Among the special factors that helped Daimler's results was an adjustment of health-care and pension benefits at its Daimler Trucks North America unit worth 183 million euros. A favorable verdict in a lawsuit that involved Daimler contributed 218 million euros to the group's bottom line as well, it said.

But Daimler operations were in large part responsible for the leap in earnings, with unit sales climbing by 23% in the quarter to 475,100 cars and commercial vehicles worldwide.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2010

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