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Daimler Profit Climbs On Higher Sales Volumes; Shares Up - Update

2/9/2012 3:54 AM ET

Shares of Daimler AG (DDAIF.PK) are gaining in Frankfurt's Xetra Thursday morning after the German automotive major reported a 57 percent growth in its fourth-quarter profit, helped by improved sales volumes in all divisions, particularly in Mercedes-Benz Cars and Daimler Trucks. The company, which is celebrating its 125th anniversary, expects fiscal year 2012 EBIT from ongoing business 'in the magnitude' of last year.

Fourth-quarter net profit climbed to 1.79 billion euros from 1.14 billion euros a year earlier. Earnings per share grew 63 percent to 1.61 euros from 0.99 euros in 2010. Earnings before interest and tax or EBIT climbed 39 percent to 2.18 billion euros.

Quarterly revenues amounted to 29.07 billion euros, 10 percent higher than last year's 26.40 billion euros as total vehicle sales climbed 14 percent to 596,203 units.

During the period, revenues from Mercedes-Benz Cars segment increased 7 percent, driven by an 11 percent growth in unit sales. Daimler Trucks revenues climbed 20 percent and Mercedes-Benz Vans revenues grew 22 percent, reflecting 22 percent volume growth in each division.

Revenues from Buses division increased 3 percent, with a 13 percent growth in volume. Financial Services revenues remained flat with last year, while its EBIT climbed 40 percent reflecting lower cost of risk.

For fiscal year 2011, net profit grew 29 percent to 6.03 billion euros or 5.32 euros per share and revenues went up 9 percent to 106.54 billion euros helped by an 11 percent growth in sales volume to 2.11 million units. EBIT from ongoing business rose 24 percent to 9 billion euros.

In its long corporate history, the car division has never performed better than in 2011, the company noted.

Looking ahead, Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars said the company is now putting all its efforts into continuing this success and achieving targeted rates of return on a sustained basis as of the year 2013.

Daimler further said its Boards would propose a dividend of 2.20 euros per share at the Annual Meeting to be held on April 4, higher than last year's 1.85 euros.

Daimler expects that worldwide markets for motor vehicles would continue to grow this year, with the exception of the Western European markets, which are increasingly affected by the debt crisis.

Global registrations of new cars are likely to increase by approximately 4 percent, primarily driven by the Asian emerging markets, the US and the Japanese markets. Demand for medium and heavy trucks in 2012 would be at least at the prior year level.

Between 2012 and 2013, Daimler intends to invest a total of 21.5 billion euros in research and development activities and property, plant and equipment.

The company also said it will create new jobs mainly in North America, Asia and Hungary as part of its efforts to achieve its ambitious growth targets through expanding the production capacities.

Daimler shares are currently trading at 46.86 euros, up 2.24 euros or 5.02 percent on Frankfurt's Xetra.

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by RTT Staff Writer

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