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News of  April 25, 2000


DaimlerChrysler Reports Revenues Growth of 17% in the First Quarter

  • Revenues increase to Euro 41.0/$ 39.2 billion on record sales
  • Operating profit of Euro 2.5/$2.3 billion on last year's record level, despite
  • intense competition
  • Net income and earnings per share up 3 % to Euro 1.7/$ 1.6 billion and Euro
  • 1.69/$ 1.62 respectively
  • Important strategic decisions will further strengthen DaimlerChrysler's
  • leading position in the global automotive markets
  • Juergen E. Schrempp at the Annual Shareholders Meeting: "A sound basis
  • for further profitable growth in 2000 and beyond"

Auburn Hills/Stuttgart - DaimlerChrysler reported an increase in revenues of 17 % to Euro 41.0/$ 39.2 billion in the first quarter (first quarter 1999: Euro 35.0/$ 33.5 billion). Strong demand for DaimlerChrysler products in major markets produced double digit percentage growth rates in revenues for almost all divisions.

With the introductions of new, attractive products such as the Mercedes-Benz C-Class, the Chrysler PT Cruiser and the upcoming rollout of the Chrysler and Dodge minivans, DaimlerChrysler expects to surpass 1999 record sales figures in 2000.

DaimlerChrysler recorded a first quarter 2000 operating profit on last year's record level, with Euro 2.5/$ 2.3 billion. The decrease of 3 % (first quarter 1999: Euro 2.5/$ 2.4 billion, adjusted for the one-time effect of the debitel IPO) is attributed mainly to intense competition, especially in North America.

First quarter net income increased to Euro 1.7/$ 1.6 billion, compared to Euro 1.6/$ 1.6 billion in 1999 (figure adjusted for one-time effect of German tax reform and debitel IPO). Earnings per share were Euro 1.69/$ 1.62 compared to Euro 1.64/$ 1.57 in the first quarter 1999.

Free cash flow of the industrial business almost doubled to Euro 1.6 billion, despite additional investments of Euro 1 billion compared to the first quarter 1999.

Schrempp: "Further profitable growth"

Commenting on DaimlerChrysler's performance, Chairman Juergen E. Schrempp said: "Our company's strong momentum continued in the first quarter. Our unique products, strong brands and global reach create a sound basis for further profitable growth in the year 2000 and beyond. From today's perspective, we anticipate a further increase in earnings per share for the full year."

Commenting on recent decisions, Schrempp said: "The strategic decisions taken in the first quarter, especially the planned alliance with Mitsubishi Motors, will further strengthen DaimlerChrysler's position in the global automotive markets. Our alliance with Mitsubishi Motors will give us much greater access to Asia. In addition, it will strengthen our position in growth markets like Latin America, Eastern Europe, and Africa, and bring us to our goal of providing the full automotive product range from small cars to heavy trucks." "Following the agreement with Deutsche Telekom to acquire a 50.1 % stake in the IT Services unit debis Systemhaus through a capital increase, debis will now focus even more on services related to the automotive business," Schrempp said. "We plan to invest significantly in additional services along the automotive value chain, including financing and leasing, insurance, fleet management, and telematics. This will be supported by additional activities in e-commerce."

Shareholders to vote on share buy-back program

At its second annual meeting of shareholders today in Berlin, Germany, DaimlerChrysler will propose an unchanged dividend for 1999 of Euro 2.35/ approx. $ 2.25 per share. The total dividend pay out of Euro 2.4/$ 2.3 billion is the highest among companies in Germany's DAX index. The company will also ask shareholders to authorize a share buy-back program and a new stock option plan for DaimlerChrysler management.

Mercedes-Benz Passenger Cars & smart

The Mercedes-Benz Passenger Cars & smart division posted sales of 260,400 units, up 7 % compared to the first quarter of 1999. The division increased revenues by 17 % to Euro 9.9/$ 9.5 billion. Operating profit was up 11 % to Euro 591/$ 566 million, despite introduction costs of the new C-class. Sales in the first three months were especially favorable for the E-class (+ 5 % to 60,100 units), S-class (+ 27 % to 22,400 units) and M-class (+ 46 % to 27,700 units). Moreover, 18,500 smart were sold, a plus of 122 %. With customer orders coming in at 1,200 a day in Germany alone, the new Mercedes-Benz C-class will contribute to further volume growth.

Chrysler Group

The Chrysler Group division, with its Chrysler, Jeep®, Dodge, and Plymouth-brands, shipped 923,600 vehicles in the first quarter compared to 835,900 a year ago, achieving an 10 % increase. Revenues increased 24 % to Euro 19.0/$ 18.2 billion. Due to intensified competition, greater margin pressure, increased interest rates in North America and expenses for product launches, operating profit could not match the previous year's record figure and decreased by 7 % to Euro 1.4/$ 1.3 billion. The economic outlook for the NAFTA region remains positive, although competitive pressures are expected to continue. The Chrysler Group plans to launch the all new minivan and midsize car line-ups later in the year, continuing an ambitious product development program. Also, the Chrysler Group expects to achieve worldwide vehicle sales of over 3.2 million units for the year 2000.

Commercial Vehicles

The Commercial Vehicles division, which includes Mercedes-Benz, Freightliner, Sterling, Setra, and Thomas Built Buses, increased unit sales of trucks, vans and buses by 7 % to 136,100 units. Revenues rose by 11 % to Euro 6.8/$ 6.5 billion. Operating profit was Euro 246/$ 236 million, an increase of 34 % compared to Euro 183/$ 175 million in first quarter 1999. Markets in Latin America and Turkey have recovered markedly in recent months. The Commercial Vehicles division expects sales and revenues in 2000 to reach 1999 level, although it is expected that the North American heavy truck market will not again reach the 1999 highs.

DaimlerChrysler Services (debis)

DaimlerChrysler Services (debis) continued to grow, particularly internationally. Revenues increased by 42 % to Euro 4.0/$ 3.8 billion. Operating profit was up 5 % to Euro 195/$ 187 million, but was influenced by higher interest rates and increased margin pressure.

DaimlerChrysler Aerospace (Dasa)

DaimlerChrysler Aerospace (Dasa) increased operating profit in the first three months of 2000 by 26 % to Euro 117/$ 112 million. With Euro 1.9/$ 1.8 billion, revenues remained on last year's level, due to invoicing factors. Revenues growth was achieved in the Commercial Aircraft and Aeroengines business units. The establishment and Initial Public Offering of the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company (EADS), into which Dasa will merge with its French partner Aerospatiale Matra and its Spanish partner CASA, is expected in summer 2000.

Other industrial businesses

Revenues at Adtranz, the rail systems business unit, were up 1 % to Euro 0.7/$ 0.7 billion. The Automotive Electronics business unit (TEMIC) posted a 20 % increase in revenues to Euro 0.3/$ 0.3 billion. The MTU/Diesel Engines business unit recorded increased revenues of Euro 0.2/$ 0.2 billion, up 8 %.

Exchange rate used for conversion: 1 Euro = U.S.-$ 0.9574 (Noon Buying Rate of the New York Federal Reserve Bank on March 31, 2000).

(April 19, 2000)


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