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Daimler sees good times ahead

By AFP - Feb 19,2021 - Last updated at Feb 19,2021

BERLIN — German automobile group Daimler on Thursday predicted its sales and revenues will rise "significantly" in 2021, despite the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

"We are confident that we can maintain positive momentum if current market conditions prevail," CEO Ola Kallenius said in a statement.

Current shortages of semiconductor chips that are slowing car production worldwide "can be compensated for by the end of the year", the Mercedez-Benz maker said.

Outsized demand for personal electronics as huge swathes of populations work from home during the pandemic has led to an acute shortage of semiconductor chips.

For 2020, Daimler booked 4.0 billion euros in net profit, a 48 per cent increase on the previous year when it was hit by one-off expenses.

The group confirmed preliminary results from January showing profit before interest and taxes (EBIT) of 6.6 billion euros ($8.0 billion), up by around half on 2019's figure.

Activity rebounded sharply in the fourth quarter after a dramatic slowdown early in the year due to the pandemic.

Daimler said it expects the global economy to recover strongly in 2021 "in the absence of further unexpected pandemic-related setbacks". 

The group announced in early February that it would spin off its truck division and rename itself Mercedes-Benz after its top-selling luxury brand.

Shares in the new truck company will be offered to the group's existing shareholders.

The planned listing on the Frankfurt stock exchange will be put to shareholders for approval during an extraordinary meeting likely during the third quarter of the year. 

Daimler also warned that the positive effects expected in the second half of the year "cannot be reliably determined at present".


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