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Daimler sales unaffected by VW pollution scandal

German auto maker Daimler has reported record sales for the third quarter, lifting operating profit by almost a third year-on-year. The results showed the firm unharmed by rival VW's pollution scandal.

Germany's Daimler, maker of the luxury Mercedes brand, said Thursday it had logged record unit sales in the July-September period, shifting 720,000 cars worldwide and marking a 13-percent increase from the level reached in the same period a year earlier.

The company managed to lift its Q3 revenues to 37.3 billion euros ($41.8 billion) and operating profit to 3.6 billion euros, beating analysts' expectations.

"We achieved a return on sales of 10 percent in the automotive business in the third quarter and proved once again we're pursuing the right strategy," Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche said in a statement, adding that the results "speak for themselves."

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The carmaker's financial director, Bodo Uebber, said Daimler's diesel car sales

appeared not to have suffered

from the emission tests cheating scandal at Volkswagen.

Third-quarter net earnings dropped, though, by 15 percent year-on-year. But the company said one had to factor in one-off effects such as last year's one-billion-euro sale of Daimler's stake in a Rolls-Royce power system unit.

Looking ahead, the Stuttgart-based company expected dwindling demand for its cars in China, Russia and Brazil, while it saw good prospects for expansion in North America and western Europe.

hg/pad (dpa, AFP)

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