Key Figures 2018. Group

Here you will find the most relevant company key figures for the fiscal year 2108 – including a brief interpretation. Detailed information are provided in our annual report.

How was the result in 2018?

167,362 mn


previous year: € 164,154 mn

11,132 mn


previous year: € 14,348 mn

7,582 mn

Net profit

previous year: € 10,617 mn

The Group’s total revenue increased by 2.0 % despite difficult conditions. The revenue growth primarily reflects an increase in sales for our products at Daimler Trucks, as well as increased contract volume at Daimler Financial Services. The Group achieved EBIT of €11.1 billion in 2018, which is a high level, but significantly below the prior-year. Net profit decreased to €7.6 billion. In the previous year 2017, net profit was boosted by €1 billion due to the one-time effect of the US tax reform. In our interactive Ten-Year Summary you can analyze the figures over an extended period of time.

Development of Free Cash Flow and Value Added in 2018

2,898 mn

Free cash flow of the industrial business

previous year: € 2,005 mn

3,658 mn

Value Added

previous year: € 7,004 mn

The free cash flow of the industrial business amounted to €2.9 billion in 2018 and was significantly higher than the prior-year figure of €2.0 billion; however, it did not exceed the dividend payment for 2018 of €3.9 billion. The €0.9 billion increase in the free cash flow to €2.9 billion resulted primarily from the prior-year cash outflow for the extraordinary contribution to the pension plan assets and the lower income taxes paid in the current year. The increased cash inflow also resulted from the dividends distributed by Beijing Benz Automotive Co., Ltd.

How is the Free Cash Flow calculated?

The parameter used by Daimler to measure the financial capability of the Group’s industrial business is the free cash flow of the industrial business (see table B.24), which is derived from the reported cash flows from operating and investing activities. The cash flows from the acquisition and sale of marketable debt securities and similar investments included in cash flows from investing activities are deducted, as those securities are allocated to liquidity and changes in them are thus not a part of the free cash flow.

(In millions of euros)
Cash provided by operating activities 12,915
Cash used for investing activities -9,307
Change in marketable debt securities and similar investments -505
Other adjustments -205
Free cash flow of the
industrial business

Other adjustments relate to non-cash additions to property, plant and equipment that are allocated to the Group as their beneficial owner due to the form of their underlying lease contracts. Furthermore, effects from the financing of dealerships and effects from internal deposits within the Group are adjusted. In addition, the calculation of the free cash flow includes those cash flows to be shown under cash from financing activities in connection with the acquisition or sale of interests in subsidiaries without loss of control.

The Group’s value added decreased by €3.3 billion to €3.7 billion in 2018, representing a return on net assets of 14.8 % (2017: 22.5 %). This was once again higher than the minimum required rate of return of 8 %. The significant decrease in value added was mainly due to the development of the divisions’ EBIT. In addition, further negative effects resulted from the increase in average net assets, mainly attributable to higher investment in fixed assets and an increase in inventories.

What is the significance of the value added?

Value added shows the extent to which the Group and its divisions achieve or exceed the return requirements of the investors, thus creating additional value.

How is the value added calculated?

The value added can be calculated as the difference between operating profit and the cost of capital of the average net assets.

How was the Pay-Out 2018?


Dividend per share

previous year: € 3.65

3,500 mn

Dividend amount

previous year: € 3,900 mn

48 %

Pay-Out ratio

previous year: 37%

The dividend of € 3.25 per share is the second highest in our company's history. In 2019, we distributed one of the most attractive dividends in the DAX. For the past five financial years 2014 - 2018, Daimler has contributed a total of 17 billion euros to its shareholders.

We invest in the future

7,470 mn

Investment in property, plant and equipment 2018

previous year: € 6,701 mn

9,107 mn

R & D expenditure 2018

previous year: € 8,711 mn


electrified cars

until 2022

This applies in particular to the increasing electrification of our product portfolio and to the digital connectivity of our products and processes along the entire value chain. With our research and development activities, our goal is to further strengthen Daimler’s competitive position against the backdrop of upcoming technological challenges.

For our cars alone, we are putting 10-billion euros into the expansion of our electric fleet. By 2022, the whole Mercedes-Benz Cars portfolio will be electrified. That means we will offer different electrified alternatives to our customers in every segment – from smart to the SUV. We will launch more than 20 new xEVs until 2022. In the process we are pursuing a three-stages drive train strategy:

  • highly efficient high-tech combustion engines with increasing electrification (48Volt technologies)
  • numerous plug-in-hybrid models (PHEV) and
  • pure electric drive with battery (BEV) or fuel cell.

By 2025, the share of pure electric vehicles should represent between 15 and 25 percent of total unit sales for Mercedes-Benz. By 2030 we aim to have electric models make up more than half of our car sales – that includes pure electric cars and plug-in hybrids.

We are also moving on with electromobility for our commercial vehicles: We are electrifying all commercial model series of our vans. With the FUSO eCanter Daimler Trucks was the first manufacturer to bring a fully electric truck into series production. We are testing electrically driven trucks of all classes in daily transport operations. Our goal is clear: As global market leader, we also want to be at the top with our electric trucks. In addition, our eCitaro has been in series production since the end of 2018. That’s our electric city bus.

Employees and sales worldwide in 2018



previous year: 289,321 employees

3.4 mn

Sold vehicles

previous year: vehicles 3.3 mn


Sales electric cars*

*sum: highly efficient high-tech combustion engines with increasing electrification (48Volt technologies), numerous plug-in-hybrid models (PHEV) and pure electric drive with battery (BEV) or fuel cell.

This increase was primarily a result of the positive overall business situation. The key aims of our human resources strategy are to further increase our appeal as an employer and to safeguard the competitiveness of our workforce.

Daimler increased its total unit sales in the year 2018 by 2 % to 3.4 million vehicles, thus achieving its growth target. The Daimler Trucks (+10 %), Mercedes-Benz Vans (+5 %) and Daimler Buses (+8 %) divisions confirmed the forecasts made at the beginning of the year. With an increase of 0.4 %, unit sales at Mercedes-Benz Cars were slightly higher than in the previous year. The division therefore did not fully achieve the target it had set at the beginning of the year.

Daimler assumes that by the year 2025, electric models will account for between 15 and 25 percent of Mercedes-Benz Cars’ unit sales. To that end, we plan to launch more than ten all-electric cars in all segments, from the smart to the large SUV. We are investing approximately €10 billion in the expansion of our electric fleet and more than €1 billion in the development of battery production.

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