Daimler sees significant revenue, earnings gains amid pandemic recovery

  • Like its German rivals BMW and Volkswagen AG, Daimler benefited from a rebound in China following COVID-19 lockdowns.
  • Consumers snapped up luxury vehicles and helped save the year for premium brands like Mercedes and Audi.

German carmaker Daimler AG said on Thursday it expects significant improvements in sales and operating profit in 2021 amid a rebound from the coronavirus pandemic and that it will make up for lost production caused by a semiconductor chip shortage by the end of 2021.

Bottlenecks causing a shortage of semiconductor chips will hurt its sales mostly in the first quarter, the German carmaker said. Much of the auto industry has struggled to maintain production levels because of the chip shortage.

The automaker also confirmed its preliminary financial results for 2020 and said economic conditions in it key markets should continue to return to normal and that it expects no further setbacks as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Thanks to cost savings and a faster-than-expected recovery in the auto sector, Daimler said last month that its group earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) for 2020 came to 6.60 billion euros ($7.95 billion).

"The year 2020 was a stress test for just about every company in almost every industry," Chief Executive Ola Källenius said in a statement. "The Daimler team mastered this test very well."

Like its German rivals BMW and Volkswagen AG, Daimler benefited from a rebound in China following COVID-19 lockdowns. Consumers snapped up luxury vehicles and helped save the year for premium brands like Mercedes and Audi.

Daimler said it expects group revenue and operating profit for 2021 to rise more than 7.5%, with an adjusted margin from its Mercedes cars and van business of between 8% and 10%.

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