Daimler posts $1.51 billion loss in second-quarter

BERLIN — Germany’s Daimler AG said Wednesday that it lost ¤1.06 billion ($1.51 billion) in the second quarter as the recession hurt car and truck sales and the company took charges related to its stake in Chrysler.

By (AP)

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Published: Wed 29 Jul 2009, 6:09 PM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 10:32 PM

The company’s highly cyclical truck business — the world’s largest by sales — saw unit sales plunge 60 percent. But the quarterly result was better than analyst predictions and the company’s shares rose.

The loss in the April-June period compared with a profit of nearly ¤1.3 billion a year earlier. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters had expected a net loss of ¤1.5 billion.

Despite the third quarterly loss in a row, the company predicted a ‘gradual improvement’ in its operating profit in the coming months.The news helped push Daimler shares up nearly 5.4 percent to ¤31.68 in Frankfurt trading.

Sales fell 25 percent to ¤19.6 billion in the quarter compared with ¤26 billion last year, below the ¤20 billion that analysts had forecast, a stark reminder of the bleak landscape that car makers worldwide face amid the economic crisis.

Stuttgart-based Daimler, whose brands include Mercedes-Benz, Maybach and Smart, said sales across all of its units, including luxury cars, vans, trucks and buses slid 31 percent in second quarter compared to last year with just 391,500 sold worldwide.

Looking ahead to the end of 2009, the automaker said that total sales were likely to ‘decrease significantly’ from last year when it sold 2.1 million vehicles.

Other factors that weighed on the figure included its relinquishing a 19.9 percent equity stake in Chrysler Group LLC effective June 3.

Daimler will take ¤387 million in expenses related to the stake during the second quarter. Chrysler restructured in bankruptcy court and emerged in an alliance with Italy’s Fiat SpA.

However, Daimler said the effects were partially offset by a transfer of charges in stock in aerospace concern EADS NV which saw it gain ¤35 million.

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