Daimler AG, with help from positive exchange rates, posted an 8% increase in third quarter earnings before interest and taxes to 2.7 billion euros.
Revenue, also aided by positive exchange rates, climbed by 8% rose to 43.3 billion euros while unit sales increased 6% to 839,300 passenger cars and commercial vehicles.
“Strong sales at Cars and Vans supported our Q3 financial performance. However, in order to master the transformation in the next few years, we need to increase our efforts considerably: We have to significantly reduce our costs and consistently strengthen our cash flow,” said Ola Källenius, chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and head of Mercedes-Benz Cars.
Daimler also expects unit sales in 2019 to come in at the previous year’s number and earnings to be slightly above the prior year and that revenue will be at the previous year’s level. Daimler Trucks now expects revenue in the magnitude of the prior year. The divisions, Mercedes-Benz Vans and Daimler Mobility, anticipate slight revenue growth. Daimler Buses expects a significant increase in revenue.
Daimler also warned that investigations and lawsuits could cut into the company’s earnings in the future.
“As reported in the risk and opportunity report, Daimler is subject to governmental information requests, inquiries, investigations, administrative orders and proceedings as well as court proceedings in connection with diesel exhaust emissions,” the company noted in its quarterly financial report.
The legal proceedings are fraught with a large degree of uncertainty, it is possible that in the context of their final resolution some of the provisions we have recognized for them could prove to be insufficient. As a result, additional expenditures may arise, which may negatively affect the profitability expectations mentioned below, in particular of the divisions Mercedes-Benz Cars and Mercedes-Benz Vans.
Daimler’s net income rose by 3% to 1.81 billion euros, leading to an increase in earnings per share to 1.61 euros from 1.58 euros.
In the first nine months of 2019, Daimler reported that free cash flow was minus 500 million euros due a continued high level of investment in future products. At the group, investments in property, plant and equipment in the third quarter dropped to 1.8 billion euros from to 2.1 billion euros. Expenditures for research and development rose to 2.5 billion euros from 2.4 billion euros.
The net liquidity of the industrial business decreased from 16.3 billion euros at December 31, 2018, to 9.6 billion euros at the end of the third quarter.
Mercedes-Benz Cars sold 604,700 vehicles in the third quarter, which is 8% more than the third quarter of last year’s total of 559,500. Mercedes-Benz Cars’ revenue increased by 9% to €23.5 billion, up from €21.7 billion, and its EBIT improved by 4% to €1.42 billion from €1.37 billion in the year-ago period. Return on sales was 6.0%, which is down slight from the third quarter of 2018, which came in at 6.3%.