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Business News

Daimler group profits up in "mixed" 2012

German automaker Daimler posted record sales and revenues in all of its units in 2012. However, despite selling more busses, trucks and cars, growth in group profit was primarily achieved through an asset sale.

The net profit of German automaker Daimler rose by 8 percent to 6.5 billion euros ($8.8 billion) in 2012, as the group sold a total of 2.198 million vehicles worldwide, up 4 percent from the previous year.

However, the rise in net profit only came about through Daimler's sale of its stake in European aerospace giant EADS which netted the group 709 million euros, according to Daimler's annual earnings report released Thursday.

"Notwithstanding our success and the numerous pioneering investments in 2012, it is a fact that we did not reach our own targets for earnings and profitability," Daimler Chief Executive Dieter Zetsche said in a statement.

Underlying profit, as measured by earnings before interest and tax (EBIT), fell across all divisions and was down 2 percent to 8.6 billion euros. Mercedes-Benz Cars - which includes luxury brands Mercedes, Maybach and AMG, as well as the Smart city car - saw EBIT drop by 15 percent to 4.4 billion euros.

In its outlook for 2013, Daimler said it anticipated global car markets to remain weak in the first half of the year, subsequently resulting in lower earnings for the group compared with 2012.

However, earnings were expected to improve in the second half of 2013, the carmaker said, on the back of rising demand and with the group's efficiency measures starting to create positive effects.

On the basis of the anticipated recovery, the carmaker assumes group EBIT in 2013 to reach the same level as in 2012, adding that it would hold its 2012 dividend at 2.20 euros.

uhe/hc (dpa, AFP, Reuters)