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German carmaker Daimler sees quarterly profit tripling

Germany's automaker Daimler, the producer of luxury brand Mercedes, has announced a marked rise in second-quarter net earnings. The firm said the result was also due to a one-off gain through the sale of EADS shares.

In its interim report published Wednesday, Daimler said its net profit in the second quarter jumped 4.58 billion euros ($6.04 billion) from the level reached in the same period a year earlier. Earnings thus roughly tripled, with the company logging a 1.56-billion-euro profit between April and June 2012.

"Our earnings in the second quarter improved significantly, also compared with the first three months of the current year, and exceeded market expectations," Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche said in a statement.

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He admitted that the positive quarterly result was in no small way helped by the sale of the company's remaining stake in EADS, the parent firm of European planemaker Airbus. Daimler said the gain relating to the move totaled 3.2 billion euros in terms of a one-off effect.

Market expectations up

But the car-making division also fared well in the second quarter, with unit sales rising by 6 per cent to over 605,000 cars and trucks worldwide.

"Thanks to new products, cost-cutting measures and growth in key markets we can assume that our earnings in the second half of 2013 will be significantly better than in the first six months of the year," Zetsche predicted. He added that the stricken western European car market seemed to have bottomed out and that a gradual improvement of the market situation was to be anticipated later in the year.

Despite the optimistic outlook, investors appeared unimpressed in early Wednesday trading, with Daimler shares being among the few losers in Frankfurt in a generally firmer market.

hg/tj  (AP, AFP)

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