Daimler to miss its 2012 profit forecast by €1 billion image

Daimler warned on Wednesday that it would miss its profit forecast in 2012 by about 1 billion euros and would not be able to improve profit margins next year as expected.

The carmaker blamed “significantly more difficult market conditions”. In a statement that appeared to have been released prematurely, Daimler said it expected only 8 billion euros ($10.38 billion) in earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) in 2012. The original forecast estimated flat profits of about 9 billion euros.

“Due to the economic challenges, Daimler will not match the high prior-year EBIT in full-year 2012, but will still post good earnings once again,” Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche said in the statement that was sent out by e-mail a day earlier than scheduled.

Daimler declined to comment further. In the statement Daimler said it no longer believed it could achieve its divisional EBIT margin targets next year due to the significantly more difficult market conditions.

The company also announced its third-quarter operating profit dropped 2 percent to 1.92 billion euros. The carmaker’s luxury division Mercedes-Benz also said in a letter to staff that it expects West European car market to fall back to level of 1993 in 2012.