At mercedes benz cars, earnings before interest and taxes (ebit) for the current year will actually be "slightly below" the previous year, announced zetsche at the presentation of the financial statements on thursday in stuttgart.
In 2012, operating profit at mercedes benz cars had fallen by 15 percent to 4.4 billion euros. Only from 2014 onwards did the manager promise a return to rising profits for the automotive division. Zetsche’s imminent contract extension until 2018 comes under difficult circumstances.
"We intend to invest heavily in our future this year, which will naturally have a corresponding impact on our earnings," said zetsche. For the past year, he drew a mixed balance: "2012 was a year with many successes for daimler, but also with recognizable potential for improvement," he said in his speech. Daimler had missed its "strategic targets". "We are not yet at the goal, but on the right way."
Last year, operating profit dropped noticeably to 8.1 billion euros (2011: 9.0 billion euros). Despite new records for car sales and group revenue, only the sale of shares in the aerospace group EADS saved daimler from a profit squeeze in 2012. On balance, the group earned 6.5 billion euros (2011: 6 billion euros). This corresponds to an increase of eight percent. The swabians put the positive effect of the sale of the EADS shares at 709 million euros.
In the automotive division, the return on sales – i.E. The ratio between lost sales and operating profit – fell to 7.1 percent in 2012. The competition from audi and BMW had recently presented double-digit figures, but the bavarians have yet to present their figures for the full year 2012. Zetsche wants to get to ten percent "in the medium term" – but he didn’t give a date. Daimler wants to get its act together, for example, in production costs, production times per car and sales structures.
For the current year, zetsche announced an increase in unit sales and sales revenue. A model offensive is supposed to help: by 2020, daimler wants to bring 13 models onto the market that have not yet had a preganger. The year also marks the point at which the swabians aim to overtake audi and BMW in the passenger car business – in terms of unit sales, sales revenue and return on investment. Zetsche said: "setting a target is one thing, but achieving it is quite another."
According to him, the first half of 2013 will be particularly difficult compared to the previous year. The billion-dollar savings programs announced in the fall of 2012 are expected to begin having a tangible effect by the end of the current year, however. Daimler also explained the general pressure on the earnings side with investments in new models or factories, for example. Revenue rose from 106.5 to 114.3 billion euros in 2012 – an increase of seven percent.
In the fall of 2012, the group cut back its plans to match the previous year’s EBIT and announced a minimum of 8 billion euros. They now managed to do this without any special factors. Including these, group ebit decreased only slightly by around two percent to 8.6 billion euros (2011: 8.8 billion euros). Euro).
But operating profits fell in all areas of the group: the truck division lost 9 percent to 1.7 billion euros, the van division slumped by more than a third. And in the case of buses, the group even posted a loss of over 230 million euros. The finance division, which is responsible among other things for the leasing business, only treaded water.
2012, which was announced as a "transitional year," was noticeably worse than expected, particularly in the second half of the year. With a savings program totaling at least 3 billion euros – 2 billion euros in passenger cars and up to 1.6 billion euros in trucks – daimler wants to take countermeasures and achieve significantly lower costs by the end of next year. The roughest part of the package is to take effect in 2014.
Daimler’s figures were well received on the stock exchange. The share gained one euro to a good 44 euros and was still one of the dax gainers in the afternoon.
China is the most important construction site in the group. In the world’s largest automotive market, the swabians lagged behind the competition from audi and BMW as well as their own targets in 2012. Daimler does not only have to moo for more "fitness" in the asian giant empire, said zetsche. He also had good news for the shareholders: a dividend of 2.20 euros per share is true to the previous year’s level.