The German automaker Daimler AG (IW 1000/18), which owns Mercedes Benz, revised its 2012 operating profit target lower on Wednesday after posting an annualized 11% drop in third- quarter net profit.
The Stuttgart-based luxury automaker said in a statement that net profit for the three months from July through September had fallen to 1.21 billion euros (US$1.6 billion), and that it now expected to earn an underlying or operating profit of around eight billion euros this year.
It had previously forecast a level of around 8.8 billion euros.
Dow Jones Newswires analysts had expected a drop of 12%.
"Because of the challenges linked to economic developments, Daimler will not reach last year's EBIT [earnings before interest and taxes], but results will nevertheless be good," Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche said in the statement.
The group revised its forecast downward because of the worsening market situation and increased competition, it added.
In the auto sector, Daimler aims at earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) of 4.4 billion euros.
"Under market conditions which have definitely become more difficult, Daimler achieved a good result in the third quarter," Zetsche said.
In the third quarter group sales rose eight percent to 28.6 billion euros, while EBIT shrank 2% to 1.9 billion.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2012