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Daimler 3Q net falls 74 percent

Daimler 3Q net falls 74 percent

German carmaker Daimler AG said Tuesday its net income fell 74 percent in the third quarter as the global downturn led to steep declines in revenue from its truck and van businesses.
It said it expects to report positive operating earnings for the current quarter, but warned that times remained challenging.
Daimler, based in Stuttgart, reported net income of ⁈lion ($84 million) in the July-September period, compared with ⁈llion a year ago.
Revenue fell 21 percent to ⁈illion from ⁈illion last year.
Despite the lower earnings, Daimler's results are far better than in the previous quarter, when the company booked a net loss of nearly ⁈llion.
"In recent months, we have increasingly mastered the crisis," Dieter Zetsche, the company's chief executive said in a statement.
Zetsche said the company was "very well positioned," and could look to the coming year with confidence, but that the future would remain challenging for some time.
While the company said it expects positive operating earnings for the fourth quarter, net income could be pulled down by a number of effects, including the lingering economic downturn putting the pinch on dealerships and suppliers.
The results were largely expected, given that Daimler released preliminary operating income and revenue figures early last week.
Daimler reported earnings before interest and taxes of ⁈llion in the third quarter, a 27 percent decline from the ⁈llion in the third quarter of 2008.
By divisions, the company's trucks business saw the steepest _ 40 percent _ decline in revenue for the quarter to ⁈llion. Daimler is the world's biggest truckmaker with its brands including Freightliner, Western Star and Mitsubishi Fuso. The division has been hit particularly hard by the downturn.
The van business, with models including the Sprinter, saw revenue slide 33 percent to ⁈llion. Meanwhile, bus revenue fell 15 percent to ⁈ion.
The main Mercedes-Benz cars division, which includes the namesake brand, Smart compacts, and Maybach super-luxury cars, saw revenue decline 12 percent.
The company said total group unit sales fell 26 percent to 386,461 vehicles in the quarter from 522,525 a year ago. Truck unit sales declined 46 percent; vans 45 percent; busses 23 percent and car unit sales declined 14 percent.
Shares of Daimler were about 1 percent lower at ⁈in Frankfurt afternoon trading.
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