Daimler Q1 sales dip, expectations lowered

Jason Cannon

April 24, 2013

Daimler AG said in its earnings call Wednesday the company’s first-quarter North American truck sales dipped 3 percent and global truck sales fell 6 percent.

“In the first three months of this year, many markets developed worse than expected for economic reasons, especially Western Europe,” Chief Executive Officer Dieter Zetsche said in the company’s report.

Earnings from Daimler’s truck division plummeted 69 percent to $151 million, down from $489 million in the same period last year.

Daimler lowered its full-year profit forecast, saying it expected full-year operating profit to be “below the previous year’s level.”

Daimler execs say they expect “a slight increase in unit sales in the full year,” adding the “continued weak state of the economy will probably lead to a rather modest or even negative development of unit sales in a number of core markets” in the first half the year.

The company says it sold 26,641 trucks in North America in the quarter, while its dealers sold 27,981 trucks, up 7 percent from the year before.

Overall, Daimler retail sales were down 4 percent.

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