April 29, 2020 - Daimler today reported its results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2020. Group unit sales, revenue and EBIT expected to be below prior-year levels in 2020.
Relevant financial figures at a glance
Group Unit Sales
Q1 2019: 773,800
€ 37.2 billion
Q1 2019: €39.7 billion
€ 617 mn
Q1 2019: €2,798 mn
€ 168 mn
Group Net Profit
Q1 2019: €2,149 mn
€ -2.3 billion
Free Cash Flow Industrial Bus.
Q1 2019: €-2.0 billion
€ 9.3 billion
Net Liquidity Industrial Bus.
End of 2019: €11.0 billion
In the first quarter of 2020, net profit was €168 million (Q1 2019: €2,149 million). Net profit attributable to the shareholders of Daimler AG amounted to €94 million (Q1 2019: €2,095 million), leading to a decline in earnings per share to €0.09 (Q1 2019: €1.96).
The COVID-19 pandemic has substantial effects on the global economy - and our company. We took the proactive decision to stop production in March, and moved very quickly into cash preservation and cost management mode. As a consequence, Daimler ended the first quarter with a positive result and a robust liquidity. Now we have started with a gradual ramp-up of our production. At the same time, we are continuing to invest in key technologies, including electrification and digitalization. They are non-negotiable elements of our future.
The Group’s investments in property, plant and equipment in the first quarter totaled €1.6 billion (Q1 2019: €1.7 billion). Research and development expenditure amounted to €2.4 billion (Q1 2019: €2.4 billion). The free cash flow of the industrial business was minus €2.3 billion (Q1 2019: minus €2.0 billion) and was particularly influenced by the global effects of the pandemic. The adjusted free cash flow of the industrial business was minus €1.9 billion (Q1 2019: minus €2.0 billion), which is still influenced by high upfront investments in future products.
Daimler responded to the temporary drop in demand caused by the pandemic by proactively taking production stoppages in March and April, thus securing the Group's financial strength. The net liquidity of the industrial business decreased to €9.3 billion at the end of first quarter, compared to €11.0 billion at year-end 2019. The decrease is particularly due to the negative free cash flow of the industrial business.
In early April, Daimler AG increased its financial flexibility with a further loan facility agreement in the amount of €12 billion. This is in addition to the existing €11 billion revolving credit facility, which has not yet been utilized, and has a term until 2025 including extension options. The additional loan facility was agreed with an international banking syndicate and can be utilized within a 12-month period with two extension options of six months.
The effects of the virus pandemic and the resulting decrease in unit sales led to a significant earnings downturn at Mercedes-Benz Cars & Vans as well as Daimler Trucks & Buses. Earnings at Daimler Mobility were also negatively impacted by additional expenses for credit risk provisions in connection with the pandemic.
Sales by the Mercedes-Benz Cars & Vans division decreased by 16% to 546,700 vehicles in the first quarter (Q1 2019: 652.400). Revenue was €23.2 billion (Q1 2019: €24.1 billion). EBIT amounted to €510 million (Q1 2019: €1,143 million) and return on sales was 2.2% (Q1 2019: 4.8%). Adjusted EBIT was €603 million (Q1 2019: €1,372 million) and adjusted return on sales was 2.6% (Q1 2019: 5.7%). Cash flow before interest and taxes (CFBIT) was minus €1,729 million (Q1 2019: minus €835 million). Adjusted CFBIT amounted to minus €1,281 million (Q1 2019: minus €756 million). The adjusted cash conversion rate (CCR) was minus 2.1 (Q1 2019: minus 0.6).
Sales by Mercedes-Benz Cars slipped by 15% to 470,600 vehicles in the first quarter (Q1 2019: 555.300). Mercedes-Benz Vans’ sales were down 22% to 76,200 vehicles (Q1 2019: 97,000).
Daimler Trucks & Buses division showed a decrease in unit sales of 20% to 97,600 vehicles in the first quarter (Q1 2019: 121,400). Revenue was €8.7 billion (Q1 2019: €10.2 billion). EBIT amounted to €247 million (Q1 2019: €553 million) and return on sales was 2.8% (Q1 2019: 5.4%). Cash flow before interest and taxes (CFBIT) was minus €85 million (Q1 2019: minus €232 million) leading to a cash conversion rate (CCR) of minus 0.3 (Q1 2019: minus 0.4).
Sales by Daimler Trucks fell by 20% to 92,500 vehicles in the first quarter (Q1 2019: 115,900). Daimler Buses sold 5,100 vehicles (Q1 2019: 5,500) – a decrease of 8%.
At Daimler Mobility, new business decreased by 7% to €16.2 billion in the first quarter (Q1 2019: €17.3 billion). Contract volume was €159.6 billion at the end of the quarter (December 31, 2019: €162.8 billion). Revenue was €7.1 billion (Q1 2019: €6.9 billion). The division’s EBIT amounted to €58 million (Q1 2019: €1,209 million). At 1.6%, return on equity was lower than the figure of 35.7% in the prior-year period. Adjusted EBIT was €58 million (Q1 2019: €491 million) and adjusted return on equity was 1.6% (Q1 2019: 14.5%).