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Daimler Back in the Black for First Quarter

Earnings take some pressure off top management.

by on Apr.19, 2010

Products like the new Mercedes-Benz Coupe helped push parent Daimler AG back into the black for the first quarter.

Daimler AG appears to be on its way to making good on CEO Dieter Zetsche’s promise to turn around the company’s fortunes this year – good news for the executive himself considering the sometimes harsh criticism he faced at the company’s annual meeting.

Preliminary figures for the first quarter of 2010 show croup revenues shot to $28 billion, reversing the slump that gripped the company last year when revenues fell by more than a third. Daimler’searnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) also turned around, moving $1.6 billion into the black, compared with the $1.9 billion loss the company posted during the first quarter of 2009.

Daimler only let out partial financial information on Monday. More is due out next week but the company’s recovery was paced by the Mercedes-Benz car division, which posted a $1.2 billion EBIT due to strong sales, an improving model mix and positive pricing, as well as a favorable overall cost position during the first quarter, Daimler’s abbreviated press release said.

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In addition, Daimler said its other four divisions – Daimler Trucks, Mercedes-Benz vans, Daimler Buses and Daimler Financial Services – also were in the black, though there several negative special items at Daimler Trucks and Daimler Financial Services included in the divisional results.