New Models Help Boost Daimler Fourth-Quarter Profit by 10 Percent

Feb 06, 2015 09:00 AM EST | Jordan Ecarma

Rising on new strength from its Mercedes-Benz division, Daimler posted a 10 percent rise in operating profit in the latest quarter to reach 2.82 billion euros, or $3.2 billion, an increase from 2.56 billion euros the previous year.

"This progress is the result of consistent hard work. And it is based on decisions we made several years ago and which we have successfully implemented since then," Dieter Zetsche, Daimler chair and head of Mercedes-Benz, said in a statement. "That is now paying off. Daimler is on an upward curve."

Zetsche said today that Daimler's earnings before interest and taxes will increase at least 10 percent this year, Automotive News reported.

The auto group expects deliveries to increase in 2015 with a boost from four new or refreshed sport utility vehicles.

"This year is the year of the SUV for us," Zetsche told Bloomberg TV in a recent interview. "SUVs are very much in demand, so it's perfect timing."

Daimler's leader has said that 11 entirely new models will be added to the Mercedes-Benz lineup by the end of the decade as the brand looks to surpass its rivals.

Mercedes is also aiming for China, the world's biggest auto market, with plans to grow local production in the country and to employ 500 engineers for research and development work in gearing vehicles toward Chinese consumers' tastes.

"[This year] will probably be another good year for Daimler. They can increasingly compete with BMW and Audi when it comes to profitability," NordLB analyst Frank Schwope told Automotive News.  

Mercedes has had a quicker rate of volume growth than its competitors, with deliveries rising 13 percent to 1.65 million vehicles in 2014; however, it was behind Audi by 91,090 units last year and trailed BMW's namesake brand by 161,709 deliveries for the same period.

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