Coronavirus impacts Daimler results
Daimler AG has reported a 17% decrease in total unit sales in the quarter ended 31 March 2020. It apportioned the fall to the global spread of the coronavirus. Net profit was €168m (Q1 2019: €2,149m) in the first quarter of 2020.
The Daimler Trucks & Buses division showed a decrease in unit sales of 20% to 97,600 vehicles in the first quarter (Q1 2019: 121,400). Revenue was €8.7bn (Q1 2019: €10.2bn). EBIT amounted to €247m (Q1 2019: €553m) and return on sales was 2.8% (Q1 2019: 5.4%).
Ola Källenius, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Mercedes-Benz AG, said: “The COVID-19 pandemic has substantial effects on the global economy – and our company. We took the proactive decision to stop production in March, and moved very quickly into cash preservation and cost management mode. As a consequence, Daimler ended the first quarter with a positive result and a robust liquidity. Now we have started with a gradual ramp-up of our production. At the same time, we are continuing to invest in key technologies, including electrification and digitalization. They are non-negotiable elements of our future.”
Daimler expects unit sales and group revenue for 2020 to be below the levels of the previous year. It has implemented what it describes as a comprehensive set of cash protection measures and increased its financial flexibility, reporting it is confident of being well positioned to manage its business, both during and after the pandemic. In the trading statement for the first quarter, the company reports it is to maintain upfront investments that are necessary to secure the future of company.