Very good sales figures in China and cost reductions drove Daimler's profits up at the beginning of the year. Operating earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) rose to 5,75 billion euros, according to the automaker. That was more than nine times the first quarter of 2020, which was marked by the outbreak of the corona pandemic, when profits were around 620 million euros.
"We are continuing to systematically implement our strategy in a very positive market environment," said CEO Wave Källenius. The strong demand had a positive effect on the prices that Daimler was able to enforce with customers. The product mix has changed towards more lucrative models.
Daimler had reported a 22 percent increase in car sales for the first quarter, and sales soared by 60 percent in China alone. In the largest segment with cars, Daimler alone earned 4,1 billion euros before interest and taxes. The division's adjusted return on sales reached 14,3 percent. This results in sales of 26,9 billion euros, 16 percent more than in the first quarter of 2020.
Even in the truck and bus business, significantly more profit remained than a year ago, despite a slight decline in sales. The EBIT quadrupled in comparison to the previous year to 1,04 billion euros, the turnover was around 8,6 billion euros. Källenius wants to split off the truck division and put it on the stock exchange separately. The Mobility service division contributed 744 million euros to the result, a little more than expected.