Daimler nearly doubles Q1 profit to 1.18 billion euros

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German luxury carmaker Daimler, which owns Mercedes-Benz, said Friday that its first-quarter net profit nearly doubled, underpinning a positive outlook for 2011 as a whole.

Daimler said its net profit jumped to 1.18 billion euros ($1.75 billion) in the three months from January through March from 612 million euros in the same period of 2010.

Sales gained 16.5 percent to 24.7 billion euros, a statement added.

As has been the case with rival German makers of premium automobiles, Daimler reiterated upbeat guidance for the rest of the year, forecasting core earnings before interest and taxes "to be significantly higher than in 2010."

First quarter Ebit soared by 71 percent on the year to 2.031 billion euros, the company said.

"We achieved excellent earnings in the first quarter. This puts us well ahead of our planning and confirms our positive outlook for the year 2011," chairman Dieter Zetsche added.

All major regions and all divisions, from Mercedes-Benz Cars to Daimler Trucks, Mercedes-Benz Vans and Daimler Financial Services, contributed to the strong results.

The group reported spending of 49 million euros at Daimler Trucks, the world's leading heavy truck maker, in connection with the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, along with 29 million euros at Daimler Financial Services.

Mitsubishi Fuso, a Daimler Truck unit, is based in Japan.

© 2011 AFP

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