Daimler posted a 39% gain in fourth-quarter profit, helped by the demand for the refurbished Mercedes-Benz C-class and M-class models. Earnings before taxes and interest increased to 2.18 billion euros or $2.9 billion from 1.56 billion euros during the same period last year, the company revealed. The results were comparable with the 2.17 billion-euro average estimate of 12 analysts that Bloomberg had surveyed.
Sales increased 10% to 29.1 billion euros. After net income for 2011 advanced 29 percent to 6.03 billion euros, the company offered a dividend of 2.20 euros for 2011. This is higher than the 1.85 euros of the previous year. Daimler, which is also the largest manufacturer of heavy-duty vehicles in the world, estimated a 2012 EBIT "in the magnitude of last year."
The company has promised to take back its lead in the luxury vehicle segment from BMW after slipping last year to third place behind Audi. In 2011, Mercedes sold 1.26 million automobiles, behind BMW with 1.38 million units and Audi with 1.3 million.
To outperform its competitors, Mercedes intends to launch 10 new models by 2015. These include compacts and the CLS Shooting Brake, a wagon-like version of the $71,300 four-door coupe. The costs to launch the vehicles and an overhauled Actros long-haul truck may encumber 2012 earnings.
Analyst Albrecht Denninghoff at Frankfurt-based Silvia Quandt Research commented that the dividend is "surprisingly good and higher" compared to what the market was expecting. He added that the numbers are in line, while the outlook is "cautious". He added that they are staying with their buy recommendation.
All new Mercedes-Benz M-Class range models boast superior comfort and dynamic handling, whether you are on the road or away from the tarmac. Aside from the steel suspension that features selective damping, you can also see new chassis developments as well as available innovative and dynamic handling control systems that are designed for a more effortless and superior premium SUV driving experience.
These new developments and systems include AIRMATIC air suspension with ADS or Adaptive Damping System, the ON&OFFROAD package that feature six driving modes, and Active Curve System that promotes active roll stabilization. Also included is a comprehensive package that ensures that the M-Class is on top of its segment when it comes to acoustic and vibration comfort.
This third generation of Mercedes-Benz M-Class Sports Utility Vehicle gives you a combination of the best of both worlds, reflecting a strong off-road heritage and, at the same time, making you feel as if you are driving a luxury premium saloon.
New M-Class SUV features a high-class interior ambience, thanks to ground aluminium or beautiful wood trims, trim highlights and finely detailed switches that blend with striking surfaces, and harmonious yet powerful lines. All these elements also offer a great sense of well-being for driver and passengers alike.
The immediately discernable design concept of the new SUV’s interior contributes to an authentic driving experience as well as sense of wellbeing brought about by a high-quality Mercedes-Benz saloon. While M-Class SUV’s expressive dome shape embodies its power, its front passenger area’s gently sloping dashboard gives you an excellent sense of space, thus highlighting the SUV’s suitability for long trips.