Daimler has achieved a substantially lower profit in 2018. This is partly due to higher costs for new models and innovation, rising raw material prices and negative exchange rate effects. However, the company boosted its sales and revenues.
In his last yearly conference as Mercedes’ boss, Dieter Zetsche gave today an explanation for a year with strong headwinds affecting Daimler, which according to him was also seen in the results and the decreased stock price of the company. Profit before tax fell 28% from 14.3 billion euros in 2017 to 11.1 billion euros in 2018, while operating margins fell by 23%.
It is not all bad news, though. Total revenue was 2 percent higher at nearly 167.4 billion euros while worldwide vehicle sales rose 2 percent last year to nearly 3.4 million units. In addition, the sales of Mercedes and Smart went up a fraction to almost 2.4 million cars, partly due to headwinds from the trade tensions between China and the US and stricter European environmental regulations.
Meanwhile, sales of trucks, buses and vans increased considerably. For this year, the company from Stuttgart expects a slight increase in sales, sales and gross profit.
Daimler came up with two profit warnings last year, partly because of additional costs for handling the diesel scandal, production disruptions and the trade war between China and the United States and their mutual import duties.
It is the last time that Zetsche publishes the annual figures on behalf of Daimler. He will be succeeded in May by the Swede Ola Källenius, who is still head of development. Källenius becomes the first non-German to come to the helm of the car company. Zetsche is in the lead since the beginning of 2006.