DaimlerChrysler first-half profits up

29th July 2004, Comments 0 comments

29 July 2004, STUTTGART - German-American carmaker DaimlerChrysler posted healthy first-half profits of nearly EUR 1 billion Thursday and predicted year-end figures would be "significantly" higher than anticipated.

29 July 2004

STUTTGART - German-American carmaker DaimlerChrysler posted healthy first-half profits of nearly EUR 1 billion Thursday and predicted year-end figures would be "significantly" higher than anticipated.

First-half after-tax profits totalled EUR 947 million, up 36 percent from the same period last year, the Stuttgart-based carmaker announced.

Operating profits were EUR 3.63 billion for the period, compared with EUR 2.04 billion a year ago.

Revenues were up 3 percent to EUR 69.4 billion on sales of 2.3 million vehicles, up by 7 percent.

"Based on the above assessments," the company said in a statement, "DaimlerChrysler expects to achieve a significant improvement in operating profit for the full year compared with 2003."

The announcement comes less than a week after DaimlerChrysler resolved the biggest labour dispute in its history by agreeing on job guarantees until 2012 in return for union concessions that will cut personnel costs by EUR 500 million annually starting in 2007.

"At the end of June, the new A-Class was presented to the public. The first test reports are extremely positive," the company said.

"The new Smart model series, the Smart ForFour, has made a good start. Of these, 17,800 were sold in the second quarter, contributing to the smart brand's 24 percent increase in unit sales to 45,100 vehicles."

Worldwide retail sales for the Chrysler Group increased by 3 percent to 759,800 vehicles in the second quarter of 2004. The growth was primarily due to the success of new products such as the Chrysler 300 and 300C, the Dodge Magnum, the Dodge Durango and the new minivans.

Factory shipments in the second quarter rose by 8 percent to 781,400 vehicles. Dealers' inventories in the US at 30 June totalled 605,600 vehicles (30 June 2003: 518,600), equivalent to 72 days' supply (30 June 2003: 63).

Dealers increased their inventories primarily as a result of the introduction of numerous new models introduced in the first half of 2004.

Also Thursday, the company announced that Eckhard Cordes, 53, head of DaimlerChrysler's truck division, has been appointed to head the Mercedes Car Group.

The move to the company's prime division had been expected for weeks. The appointment by the supervisory board takes effect 1 October. Cordes succeeds long-time division chief Juergen Hubbert, 65.

The new trucks chief is to be Andreas Renschler, 46. Another executive, Wolfgang Bernhard, who was seen as prime candidate to run Mercedes until he had a row with other senior executives, is to leave the company.

DPA

Subject: German news

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