Daimler cuts 2013 profit forecast | Business| Economy and finance news from a German perspective | DW | 24.04.2013
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Daimler cuts 2013 profit forecast

Germany's luxury carmaker Daimler has been forced to lower its 2013 profit outlook on the back of weak auto markets and higher costs. The first quarter of this year has already reaped a dismal result for the firm.

Daimler was expecting full-year operating profit for 2013 to come in below the previous year's level, the German top-of-the-range auto maker said in a statement released on Wednesday.

While maintaining its forecast for a rise in 2013 revenue, Daimler said large investments were being made in products, technologies and markets as the company was in the middle of the most comprehensive growth offensive in its history.

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In addition, weak car markets in western Europe were expected to weigh on profits, which had been reflected already in a moderate start to this year.

In its earnings report for the first quarter of 2013, the luxury carmaker booked a net profit of 536 million euros ($697 million) - a drop of 60 percent from the 1.3 billion euros it earned in the same quarter a year ago.

Overall unit sales stood at 501,600 vehicles - little changed from 502,086 a year ago. But revenues declined 3 percent to 26.1 billion euros.

The decline in first-quarter earnings was due to a shift in the regional structure of unit sales and a changed model mix in the cars' and vans' divisions, as well as lower sales in the trucks' division, the company said.

Daimler Chief Executive Dieter Zetsche said he expected earnings to improve in the second half of this year on the back of a cost-cutting program and new models to be introduced to markets.

uhe/ccp (AFP, dpa, AP)

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