Automaker Daimler rebounds after lockdowns, raises outlook

Daimler AG, maker of Mercedes-Benz luxury cars and Freightliner trucks, saw third-quarter profit rebound as the company clamped down on costs and as auto sales recovered after the coronavirus lockdowns of earlier in the year.

Highly profitable vehicles such as the GLE, GLE and GLS sport-utility vehicles boosted earnings, as did the economic recovery in China, said CFO Harald Wilhelm. The existing version of the S-Class luxury sedan also did well even though it is being replaced by a new model, Wilhelm said.

The company said Friday it was raising its outlook for the year. The company now expects full-year operating earnings to equal those from 2019, before the virus. Previously it said it expected to make a profit below last year's.

FILE - In this Thursday, April 30, 2020 file photo, an employee attaches a Mercedes emblem as he works on a Mercedes-Benz S-class car at the Mercedes plant in Sindelfingen, Germany. Daimler, maker of Mercedes-Benz vehicles, is reporting third-quarter earnings on Friday Oct. 22, 2020. (AP PhotoMatthias Schrader, file)

Quarterly net profit rose to 2.16 billion euros ($2.54 billion), up 19% from 1.81 billion euros in the same quarter a year ago — and improving on a net loss of 1.9 billion euros from the second quarter during the worst of the lockdown. Sales revenue fell 7% to 40.28 billion euros.

The company saw strong cash flow and has 13.1 billion euros in net liquidity, resources it can use to develop new technology such as electric cars and digital services.