Daimler profit down despite record Mercedes-Benz sales image

Daimler AG (DAI), the world’s third- largest maker of luxury vehicles, on Wednesday said its second-quarter net profit fell 13 percent to €1.43 billion ($1.72 billion) from €1.61 billion last year, while earnings before interest and taxes slipped to €2.24 billion from €2.58 billion.

The figure matched the 2.2 billion-euro average of 13 analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

Daimler reaffirmed it still expects EBIT from its ongoing business this year will be in the magnitude of 2011, when it was 9 billion euros.

The company on Wednesday cited added expenses for launching the new A-Class and B-Class. Both cars have been top sellers but expenses for those models rise – and sales fall – during the transition to new versions.

In the second quarter of 2012, Daimler sold 570,300 cars and commercial vehicles worldwide, surpassing the prior-year total by 8%.

“However, economic uncertainty and risks exist in nearly all regions—we therefore remain vigilant in our monitoring of general economic developments and the volatile markets,” Chief Executive Dieter Zetsche said in a statement.

The global luxury-car segment has been largely unaffected so far by woes in western Europe that have hit the more price-sensitive mass-market segment, amid surging demand for upscale vehicles in China and North America.