Daimler AG (ticker symbol: DAI) today reported results for the third quarter ended September 30, 2019. The Group’s total unit sales rose by 6% to 839,300 passenger cars and commercial vehicles (Q3 2018: 794,700). Revenue climbed by 8% to €43.3 billion (Q3 2018: €40.2 billion). Also adjusted for positive exchange-rate changes, revenue was slightly higher than the prior-year level. The Daimler Group posted third-quarter EBIT of €2.7 billion (Q3 2018: €2.5 billion), an increase of 8%.

“Strong sales at Cars and Vans supported our Q3 financial performance. However, in order to master the transformation in the next few years, we need to increase our efforts considerably: We have to significantly reduce our costs and consistently strengthen our cash flow,” said Ola Källenius, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars.

In the third quarter, Group net profit rose by 3% to €1,813 million (Q3 2018: €1,761 million). Net profit attributable to the shareholders of Daimler AG amounted to €1,719 million (Q3 2018: €1,689 million), leading to an increase in earnings per share to €1.61 (Q3 2018: €1.58).

Free cash flow and liquidity
In the first nine months of 2019, the free cash flow of the industrial business was minus €0.5 billion (Q1-3 2018: minus €0.06 billion), still affected by working capital and a continued high level of investment in future products. At the Group, investments in property, plant and equipment in the third quarter decreased to €1.8 billion (Q3 2018: €2.1 billion). Expenditure for research and development rose to €2.5 billion (Q3 2018: €2.4 billion).

The net liquidity of the industrial business decreased from €16.3 billion at December 31, 2018, to €9.6 billion at the end of the third quarter. The dividend payment of €3.5 billion (2018: €3.9 billion) to shareholders of Daimler AG, the effects from initial application of IFRS 16 (€3.2 billion) as well as the free cash flow of the industrial business led to the decrease in net liquidity.

Divisional results
Mercedes-Benz Cars sold 604,700 vehicles in the third quarter, which is 8% more compared to third quarter of last year (Q3 2018: 559,500). Mercedes-Benz Cars’ revenue increased by 9% to €23.5 billion (Q3 2018: €21.7 billion) and its EBIT improved by 4% to €1,423 million (Q3 2018: €1,372 million). Return on sales was 6.0% (Q3 2018: 6.3%).

Daimler Trucks showed a decrease in unit sales of 8% to 125,400 vehicles in the third quarter (Q3 2018: 136,100). Revenue grew by 3% to €10.3 billion (Q3 2018: €10.0 billion). EBIT decreased by 9% to €774 million (Q3 2018: €850 million) and return on sales was 7.5% (Q3 2018: 8.5%).

Mercedes-Benz Vans’ unit sales increased by 10% to 100,300 vehicles (Q3 2018: 91,400). Revenue was 15% higher at €3.5 billion (Q3 2018: €3.0 billion). EBIT rose to €113 million (Q3 2018: minus €93 million) while return on sales was 3.2% (Q3 2018: minus 3.1%).

Daimler Buses’ sales grew by 16% to 9,000 units in the third quarter (Q3 2018: 7,700). Revenue also rose by 16% to €1.2 billion (Q3 2018: €1.1 billion). EBIT more than doubled to €79 million (Q3 2018: €30 million). Return on sales improved to 6.4% (Q3 2018: 2.8%).

At Daimler Mobility AG (previously Daimler Financial Services), new business totaled €18.3 billion in the third quarter (Q3 2018: €16.6 billion), which is an increase of 10%. Revenue was 11% higher at €7.1 billion (Q3 2018: €6.4 billion). The division’s EBIT amounted to €413 million (Q3 2018: €392 million), an increase of 5% compared to third quarter of last year. At 11.9%, return on equity was slightly below the figure of 12.5% in the prior-year period.

Global workforce
At the end of the third quarter, the Daimler Group employed 304,680 people worldwide (year-end 2018: 298,683, end of Q3 2018: 300,367). Of that total, 178,097 people were employed in Germany (year-end 2018: 174,663, end of Q3 2018: 176,287) and 27,029 in the United States (year-end 2018: 26,310, end of Q3 2018: 26,079). The consolidated subsidiaries in China employed 4,427 people at the end of September (year-end 2018: 4,424, end of Q3 2018: 4,410).

Source: Daimler AG