Daimler Buses returns to profitability
Daimler Buses finished 2013 as planned, returning to profitability. The Daimler AG division recorded operating profit of €124m/£103.47m after posting an operating loss of €221m/£184.41m in the prior year. Sales rose by 5% to 33,700 units (2012: 32,100), and revenues increased by 4% to €4.1bn/£3.42bn (2012: €3.9bn/£3.25bn). Daimler Buses is looking to significantly increase sales and record a slight increase in earnings in 2014.
Daimler Buses expects the economic environment in 2014 will be marked by continuing modest growth as well as further sharp fluctuations. Despite some uncertainties, the global bus market is expected to expand slightly. It also believes market volume in western Europe will probably expand slightly over prior years’ level. The company’s goal over this period is to substantially increase unit sales and maintain its leading position for buses over eight tonnes GVW in its core markets. It also expects the restructuring of its used vehicle operations under the new BusStore brand to generate additional growth. The business has begun taking the next steps of its strategy for the promising Indian market, building a new €50m bus manufacturing facility in Chennai. The plant will initially have a manufacturing capacity of 1,500 units per year but can be expanded to produce up to 4,000 units annually.
Head of Daimler Buses, Hartmut Schick, said, ‘Our efforts have paid off. We achieved the turnaround, which offers proof of the type of performance the entire team at Daimler Buses is capable of. We want to continue this successful development in 2014 by achieving further growth. As things stand today, we believe we’ll be able to reach our targets for this year. We’re satisfied with the current level of incoming orders, and we already know that our plants will be working to full capacity until the middle of the year. That applies to the production of urban buses as well as touring coaches. This is remarkable, if only because of the fact that in our sector the first half-year is traditionally slow because of the way the markets work.’