Daimler's Profit Plunges 74%

However, the company expects to post profit in Q4

Daimler said on Oct. 27 its third quarter net profit plunged 74% from a year earlier to 56 million euros (US$83 million.)

The maker of Mercedes-Benz automobiles said that it also expected to post a profit in the fourth quarter of the year.

"Over recent months we have increasingly overcome the crisis," Daimler head Dieter Zetsche said. "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% to reach 19.3 million euros.

A total of 386,461 vehicles were delivered, an annualized decrease of 26%, with a particularly sharp drop of 46% in the number of heavy trucks sold. Daimler is the world's leading producer of heavy trucks.

Compared with the previous quarter however, the overall fall in the number of vehicles sold was limited to just one percent.

Daimler released last week provisional figures 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.

It has also decided to increase the size of a cost-cutting plan that was initially set at four billion euros. But Daimler nonetheless expected a significant drop in sales and earnings in 2009 compared with the previous year.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2009

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