Daimler AG, parent company to names such as Freightliner, Western Star, Detroit Diesel, Mercedes, Fuso and others, reported on Friday that its first quarter profit slipped – despite record-setting vehicle sales.
Net profit for the Germany-based global firm was 2.35 billion euros ($2.85 billion), down from 2.65 billion euros due to lower currency exchange rates and one-time gains a year earlier.
Revenue increased 3% in the most recent quarter, totaling $39.79 billion euros.
“We are sustainably continuing along our profitable growth course and sold more vehicles in a first quarter than ever before,” said Dieter Zetsche, chairman of the board of management and head of Mercedes-Benz cars. “We aim to continue building on this and to further consolidate our leading position in the premium segment, because we have big plans for the future."
Daimler sold 806,900 cars and commercial vehicles worldwide in the first three months of 2018, surpassing the number sold in the prior-year period by 7%.
Daimler Trucks posted a significant sales increase of 21%, totaling 113,800 units. North American sales increased significantly to 40,800 vehicles, up from 32,900 a year earlier.
Daimler Trucks’ revenue increased to 8.6 billion euros from 8 billion euros. The division’s earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) of 647 million euros was similar to the prior-year level. EBIT was reduced by exchange-rate effects and higher expenses for raw materials. In the first quarter of the previous year, the gain of 267 million euros on the sale of real estate by Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corp. in Japan had a positive effect on earnings, according to the company.
The company has forecast that Daimler Trucks total unit sales this year will be significantly higher than in the previous year, due to significant recovery in important markets, including North America and Brazil, while Europe is expected to be on par with 2017 sales.