Daimler Truck, soon to be freed from Daimler AG (OTC: DDAIF), reported improved sales and profits in the first quarter after enduring the beginning of the pandemic-induced shutdown of manufacturing a year ago.
The global shortage of semiconductor components used throughout vehicles could impact sales in the current quarter. But Daimler didn’t offer specifics. In North America, Daimler Trucks has protected larger, more profitable truck production by taking rolling downtime at medium-duty plants in North Carolina and Mexico.
Unit sales rose 4% in the Daimler Trucks & Buses division to 101,300 from 97,600 in the January-March period a year earlier. Revenue was 8.7 billion euros ($10.51 billion), flat compared to Q1 2020.
Truck sales rise
In trucks alone, unit sales increased by 6% to 97,600 vehicles compared to 92,500 a year ago.
Earnings before adjusted interest and taxes (EBIT) amounted to 518 million euros compared to 247 million euros a year ago. Adjusted return on sales was 6.1% compared to 2.8% in Q1 2020.
Based on Q1 results, Daimler expects a full-year adjusted return on sales of 6% to 7%. Incoming truck orders in all regions were significantly above the prior year’s quarter.
Companywide, Daimler AG, which includes Mercedes-Benz cars and trucks and Daimler Mobility, reported net profit of 4.4 billion euros. Analysts estimated 3.20 billion euros. Revenues rose 10.2% year over year to 41.02 billion euros, beating estimates by 570 million euros.
The separation of Daimler Trucks into a pure-play truck company is in the preparatory and auditing phase leading to a special meeting of shareholders this fall. The transaction and the listing of Daimler Truck on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange is expected to be completed before the end of the year.
Also during the quarter, a global strategic partnership for medium-duty engine systems with Cummins Inc. (NYSE: CMI) was signed and the fuel-cell joint venture “cellcentric” with Volvo Group was completed.