Mercedes E Class sales beat estimates image

Daimler AG, the maker of Mercedes- Benz cars and trucks, said third-quarter cash flow and earnings beat analysts’ estimates as rising demand for the E-class luxury sedan ended three consecutive quarters of losses.

Earnings before interest and taxes reached 470 million euros ($702 million) on sales of 19.3 billion euros, the Stuttgart, Germany-based said today in a statement. UniCredit analyst Georg Stuerzer had predicted Ebit of 246 million euros.

“The crisis isn’t over, but Daimler has the situation under control,” Munich-based Stuerzer said in a telephone interview. Mercedes is selling more high-end cars like the S-Class and E-Class while the trucks division is managing through the market decline in Europe, he said.

At Mercedes-Benz Cars, the world second-largest maker of luxury vehicles, Ebit more than tripled to 355 million euros from 112 million euros a year earlier, Daimler said. The company, also the world’s largest truckmaker, posted free cash flow from its automotive businesses of 2 billion euros.

Daimler rose 2.46 euros, or 7 percent, to 37.62 euros in Frankfurt trading, the steepest jump in more than four months. The advance gave the manufacturer a market value of 39.9 billion euros.

Daimler slashed output as the global economic crisis crippled demand. Production cuts peaked in April, when Daimler reduced the hours of as many as 68,000 employees in Germany by more than 10 percent. At the end of the third quarter, the number of staff on shortened work weeks had been lowered to 27,400, Daimler spokeswoman Nicole Kicherer said today.

Source: Bloomberg