We made a very good start to the year and once again surpassed our margin targets in the automotive business. We are very confident for the remainder of the year to achieve our financial as well as our strategic goals.
26 April 2017
In the first three months of this year, we achieved best-ever figures in a first quarter for unit sales, revenue and EBIT, smoothly continuing from record year 2016. We continued along our successful path and systematically implemented our strategy for a sustainable positive development.
We made a very good start to the year
With sales of 754,300 passenger cars and commercial vehicles, the Daimler Group once again achieved best-ever unit sales in a first quarter (2016: 683,900). This was primarily driven by record sales by Mercedes-Benz Cars with 568,100 units (+14%) and Mercedes-Benz Vans with 86,800 units (+13%).
Thanks to the solid development of unit sales, we achieved Group revenue of €38.8 billion in the first quarter, which is 11 percent more than in the first quarter of last year. Adjusted for exchange-rate effects, revenue grew by 7 percent.
Group EBIT increased by 87 percent to €4.0 billion, which is the best-ever result in the first quarter of a year. This was primarily driven by our successful unit sales, increased contract volume at Daimler Financial Services and exchange-rate effects.
In the automotive business, we achieved a margin of 10.6%, once again significantly surpassing our target.
- Net profit doubled to €2,801 million
- Free cash flow of the industrial business of €1.9 billion (Q1 2016: €0.3 billion)
- Earnings per share of €2.53 (Q1 2016: €1.26)
The results of the first quarter clearly show that our investment in new models and technologies is paying off. We are growing sustainably and profitably and are also profiting from our financial stability, which will allow us once again to increase the investments in our future. This forms the basis to continue at full speed with our model offensive, the digitization of our business processes and the electrification of our powertrains.
In the first quarter of 2017, we invested €1.3 billion worldwide, in particular at the production and assembly sites for new products and technologies and for the expansion and modernization of our production facilities. And our research and development spending increased to €2.1 billion (Q1 2016: €1.7 billion).
What do we expect in the coming months?
We have big plans and will make the year 2017 into another successful year for Daimler.
We continue to see a favorable outlook for the world economy at the beginning of the second quarter of 2017. We anticipate global economic growth at the upper end of a range of 2.5 to 3 percent. We are of course keeping a close eye on political and economic challenges and will continue to act flexibly and cautiously.
Our forecasts for the Group and our divisions are as follows:
- Daimler: We expect to increase the Group’s total unit sales significantly in 2017. Group EBIT should also rise significantly.
- In 2017, Mercedes-Benz Cars is continuing along its successful path of record year 2016 and aims to defend its leadership of the premium segment. After once again achieving the highest revenue in the Group’s history in a first quarter, the division aims to significantly increase its unit sales from their already high level during the rest of the year and to set another record. EBIT will be significantly higher than in 2016.
- Daimler Trucks expects its total unit sales in 2017 to be in the magnitude of the previous year. EBIT is expected to be slightly lower than in 2016.
- Mercedes-Benz Vans plans to achieve significant growth in unit sales in 2017, but assumes that EBIT will be slightly lower than in the previous year.
- Daimler Buses anticipates a significant increase in unit sales and its EBIT should be slightly higher than last year.
- Daimler Financial Services anticipates significant growth in new business and further growth in contract volume. EBIT is likely to be slightly higher than in 2016.