The first big automaker to release its financials for the second quarter, Daimler AG, the German maker of luxury cars, trucks and busses, reported a loss of for the second quarter, when as the pandemic took a heavy toll on the global economy.
Daimler said the group’s earnings before interest and taxes represented a loss of 1.68 billion euros, or $1.89 billion, which was better than the expected loss of 2.07 billion euros, or $2.33 billion, according to a preliminary report. Daimler expects to release a full financial report July 23.
The results follow a better-than-expected recovery in some markets and a strong June performance. The adjusted EBIT for Mercedes-Benz Cars and Vans and Daimler’s industrial free cash flow, which was positive, for the second quarter of 2020 are also above market expectations, Daimler said.
Ola Källenius, chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Mercedes-Benz AG, said Daimler’s deployment of extensive cash preservation measures plus the favorable demand-driven development of working capital combined to deliver positive Industrial Free Cash Flow in the second quarter.
“This has been a complex quarter,” Källenius said. “We took proactive decisions on costs and spending and focused intensely on working capital management.
“We were then able to seize opportunities allowed by the market recovery, thanks to our compelling product line-up. We also announced key strategic partnerships in electrification and vehicle software during the quarter that position us well for the future.”
Despite the results beating estimates, Källenius noted there is still much to do. “Our systematic efforts to lower the breakeven of the company by reducing costs and adjusting capacity will need to continue,” he said.
The partial financial report also showed that Mercedes-Benz Cars & Vans EBIT was a loss of 1.13 billion euros, or $1.26 billion, in the second quarter, which is more than the loss of 1.05 billion euros predicted by analysts.
Daimler Trucks & Buses loss of 756 million euros is less than 823 million euros expected by analysts and Daimler Mobility EBIT was a loss of 205 million euros, which is less than the expected loss of 258 million euros.
The company noted some of the factors negatively affecting the quarter’s results included 687 million euros, or $768.6 million, in expenses to begin streamlining the company’s global production network and capacity adjustments connected to Mercedes-Benz Cars’ operations in France, Mexico and the U.S.