We are successfully utilizing growth opportunities and making systematic use of business potential as well as the opportunities of digitization. We will therefore invest more and comprehensively in the future. We have the financial resources that are required for this growth path.
We continued along our successful path once again in the second quarter. We achieved our ambitious targets for unit sales and profitability, setting new records for unit sales and revenue, and we significantly increased our Group EBIT. The foundations for this success are our sustainable growth strategy, our constant efforts to increase efficiency throughout the Group, and the strength of our core business.
Daimler sold 822,500 cars and commercial vehicles worldwide, which is another record for unit sales. Contributions to the Group’s best-ever unit sales came from all automotive divisions.
Group revenue reached the best-ever figure of €41.2 billion and was thus 7% higher than in the second quarter of last year. Adjusted for exchange-rate effects, revenue increased by 5%.
The Daimler Group achieved EBIT of €3,746 million in the second quarter of this year, which is a significant 15% higher than the EBIT of €3,258 million posted in the prior-year quarter.
In the automotive business, the operating return on sales once achieved its target at 9.2% (Q2 2016: 8.3%).
- Net profit of €2.5 billion (Q2 2016: €2.5 billion)
- Free cash flow of industrial business of €3.0 billion in first half of year (Q1-2 2016: €2.1 billion)
- Earnings per share of €2.28 (Q2 2016: €2.27).
Our sustained profitability and our current financial strength allow us to invest in our future even more comprehensively than previously planned.
In detail: Daimler will once again significantly increase its already very high investment in property, plant and equipment in the year 2017. Capital expenditure in 2017 at both Mercedes-Benz Cars and Daimler Trucks will primarily be for successor generations for existing products, new products, global component projects and the optimization of the worldwide production network.
With its research and development activities, Daimler anticipates a total volume significantly above last year’s spending. Key projects at Mercedes-Benz Cars include successor models for the current S-Class and C-Class. In addition, the Group is investing in new, more efficient engines, alternative and conventional drive systems, autonomous driving and connectivity. At Daimler Trucks, the main areas of investment continue to be for improved fuel efficiency, alternative drive systems and future technologies, as well as the development of tailored products and technologies, especially for Latin America and China.
What do we expect in the coming months?
The outlook for the world economy continues to be favorable at the beginning of the third quarter of 2017, so global growth could accelerate slightly this year. Current growth forecasts for full-year 2017 are meanwhile for about 3%.
Our forecasts for the Group and our divisions are as follows:
- Daimler Group: Daimler expects to significantly increase its total unit sales as well as its Group EBIT in the year 2017.
- Mercedes-Benz Cars plans to significantly increase its unit sales and EBIT once again.
- Daimler Trucks now assumes that its total unit sales in 2017 will be slightly higher than in the previous year. The EBIT should be around the prior-year level.
- Mercedes-Benz Vans plans to achieve significant growth in unit sales in 2017. The EBIT should be around the prior-year level.
- Daimler Buses expects significant growth in unit sales. The EBIT should be slightly above the prior-year level.
- Daimler Financial Services anticipates significant growth in new business and further growth in contract volume in the year 2017. The EBIT should be slightly above the prior-year level.