Daimler aims for sales to outpace global car sector
Apr 14, 2010, 11:46 GMT
Berlin - Giant German carmaker Daimler AG set out an upbeat set of forecasts for the company Wednesday, saying that it wanted sales to grow at about double the pace of the global market.
Speaking at the group's annual general meeting in Berlin, Daimler chief Dieter Zetsche said: 'We plan to grow at around double the rate of the global passenger car market in full-year 2010.'
'Our global sales target for the year is ambitious, but it's also realistic,' Zetsche told the about 5,000 shareholders attending the meeting of the group, which manufactures Mercedes Benz passenger cars and trucks.
Daimler expects passenger car deliveries generated by the world auto industry to grow by between 3 and 4 per cent this year.
Helping to raise Daimler's optimism about the year ahead, the company said that sales of its flagship Mercedes-Benz brand increased by almost 27 per cent during the first three months of the year, boosted by a 136-per-cent jump in sales in China's fast-moving market.
With the group expecting its 2010 earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) to exceed 2.3 billion euros, the latest figures from Daimler adds to signs that the global car industry is emerging from last year's crisis.
Stuttgart-based Daimler posted an EBIT loss last year of 1.51 billion euros with the group's revenue slumping by about 25 per cent to 1.6 million vehicles.
The group's shares climbed more than 1 per cent in Frankfurt while the company's AGM was underway in Berlin.
The company posted a net loss of 2.64 billion euros last year with the carmaker's poor finance resulting in the group deciding against paying a dividend.
Zetsche said the cooperation agreed to last week between Daimler and French carmaker Renault-Nissan was 'an important step for the group on the way to establish a highly efficient business system.'
The tie-up between the two carmakers is partly aimed at helping Daimler to expand its range of smaller vehicles with the agreement including boosting co-operation between the German carmaker's compact urban Smart brand and Renault's Twingo.